“Carson is just a freakish athlete,” McCallie coach Ralph Potter said. “He would be the best player we’ve got at whatever position he played. He’s such a good linebacker for us because he can rush the passer and also defend receivers out in space. On offense he’s a great blocking tight end who also has great hands and can make plays after the catch.
Gentle, a 6-4, 250-pound hybrid defensive end/linebacker and University of Tennessee commitment, was a semifinalist for the award last year as well.
“He’s a four-year starter — it’s been a long time since we had someone start as a freshman — who is extremely smart and physical. He can make all the calls on getting everyone lined up correctly and he’s become a much more vocal leader this year in terms of making sure everyone is handling their responsibility.”
Beat me to it. He’s not the twitchy Edge like Pearce or Josephs, but neither is Baron. Baron wasn’t suited for LEO and thrived after being moved to SDE. But he (and I think Gentle) are bigger edge defenders who can compliment our LEOs (and we are loaded at LEO for the future with Pearce, Josephs, Herring, Bradley, and Ross) because they (Baron and Gentle) are and great combination of size, strength, and quickness for the SDE position.I think he ends up playing a similar role to Baron by the time he starts seeing the field
At 6’4″, 250 pounds, Carson Gentle is probably an edge rusher and while he sometimes plays there for McCallie, it’s hard to ignore his ability as a middle linebacker. In fact, an offensive coordinator who faced him this season called Gentle “the best middle linebacker I’ve ever seen at the high school level.”
That’s high praise from a veteran coach.
Gentle’s reactions and acceleration are impressive and manifest themselves differently at his two positions. As an edge rusher, he’s extremely quick off the line. As a Mike linebacker, when he diagnoses a play, he can change direction and cover a ton of ground quickly. He’s a huge hitter, and I’m not sure how Tennessee keeps him off the field for long.
Maybe the recruiting industry will catch on eventually, but either way, Tennessee is getting a steal.