In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a 3 sport athlete who just oozes potential from his impressive frame: Windsor (CT) Loomis Chaffee School 3-star TE Jackson Carver.
Miami’s Tight End room is in a great spot. Always has been. Always will be. That good current standing allows Miami to balance taking game-ready blue chip recruits along with development ones who may not reach their potential for a while. In an effort to keep that same balance going, the Canes targeted Culver (IN) Academy TE Jackson Carver.
A well-built 6’6” 220lbs, Carver has prototypical size for a Tight End. Originally from Minnesota, Carver is a newcomer to the game of football. Growing up, Carver was a standout Hockey and Lacrosse player. Again, he’s from Minnesota, so Carver playing (and excelling at) those sports, especially Hockey, totally makes sense. Carver was a standout defenseman in both sports, and was so good at Lax that he committed to Notre Dame to play that sport back in September 2020. But, the defenseman/long-stick midfielder was about to embark on a new adventure: playing football.
Carver made a big change, moving from Minnesota to Indiana to go to Culver Academy, a private school with a military foundation and structure. There, he made his first foray into playing football, and things went well. Carver played both ways at TE and DE for Culver, and he caught the eye of football recruiters, which made a big impression on him. Not only did Culver go all-in on football, he also made the decision to reclassify up to 2023 instead of 2024, the year he was previously going to graduate.
After his strong performance at Culver in 2021, Carver’s offer list exploded. West Virginia was actually the first team to offer Carver in November of 2021, but after that another 32 schools jumped into the fray with offers over the next 5 months. Miami was relatively late to the party, only offering in April, but once that offer came, the Canes started making moves.
Proud to have completed my first solo flight! Big milestone in this process✈️ pic.twitter.com/x8OSFKSQcq— Jackson Carver (@JacksonCarver11) December 20, 2022
An aspiring pilot who just completed his first solo flight, Carver would leave Culver Academy to go to the Loomis Chaffee School in Connecticut for a post-grad year, and while doing so, he began taking visits. Trips to Louisville and Michigan State preceded an Official Visit to Miami in March. After that visit, Carver ended up committing to the Canes, and gave Miami a very good developmental prospect at a position they’ve excelled at turning potential into performance for similar players. Carver would visit Iowa unofficially after his Official Visit and commitment to Miami, but the Hawkeyes couldn’t get any traction going.
After his commitment, Carver turned his attention to his season at Loomis Chaffee. Not everything went according to plan, however, as Carver sustained an injury that proved to be season-ending. Still, he’s a very good prospect with an above-average athletic profile, and a big get for the Canes in the 2023 recruiting class.
On the 247sports composite, Carver is a 3-star prospect, the #30 TE nationally, #5 in the State of Indiana, and #650 player overall in this class.
Carver committed to Miami over LSU and Iowa from a strong list of 33 offers from around the country.
As A Player
The first thing you notice about Carver is his size. He’s every bit of 6’6” 220lbs, and has the frame to add 25+lbs and still be relatively svelte. On the field, Carver uses his height to grade advantage, routinely reaching over smaller players to make catches well over 7ft from the group.
While he’s new to football, Carver’s history playing defenseman in Hockey and Lacrosse speaks to a willingness to embrace and create contact. Carver did get experience playing on the DL in HS, so he’s no stranger to physical play. But, he’ll need to lean into this more as he continues to develop on the gridiron.
Another big thing that pops about Carver on film is his lack of lean/pad level. He plays very tall on both offense and defense, but that is something that will need work in the future. Especially when considering the blocking responsibilities he’ll have as a tight end, and one of his size and future build, playing with proper pad level will be essential. That and just improving/developing proper blocking technique, because that’s not something he was asked to do that much of at the HS level. And that makes sense: HS coaches are trying to win HS games. So often, they put players in the best position for now, not the future. With Carver, that meant running seam route after seam route after seam route and leaving the blocking to others on the roster.
Carver is a mound of clay, and Miami can make him into whatever they want. He’s a very good athlete and has 3-sport experience to his credit. It’ll take some time to develop his technique at Miami, but that should be able to happen in the future.
Here’s another eval on Carver by 247sports National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu:
Started playing football as a senior, but hockey and lacrosse backgrounds gave him a leg up on learning the game. Has the ideal frame and body type and is a good athlete at his size. Took the physical part of the game. Shows good ball skills on offense for being newer. Get-off on defense and motor is good on that side of the ball. Really could project to either position in college. As long as he dedicates himself towards football, there is a considerable ceiling here.
- Multi-sport experience
- New to football
- Blocking technique
- Will need to add size to his frame
- Recent injury
Carver has all elite height and length, with a projectable frame, and all the potential in the world. He’s been a P5 recruit in two sports, and could have been in all 3 had he continued with Hockey. He’s the kind of player that Miami should be able to wait for to develop before putting him into game action, with a redshirt year likely the beginning of his collegiate journey.
Though he is working his way back from injury, Carver should be able to develop his body and his game and be a rotation player at TE for the Canes in the future. And, if all goes well, he could be a top 6 receiving option for Miami and a potential NFL Draft pick by the time his career is done. Maybe not a superstar, but a solid or better player should absolutely be the expectation for Carver’s Miami career.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.