This week Pick Axe Digest got in contact with two football recruits on Charlotte’s radar, Jalen Latter and Nolan Corpening from Vance High School. I called Vance High School football coach Keith Wilkes to find out a little more about the players, and also had a chance to interview the players themselves. Here’s some of what they told me.
Jalen is 6’0 185 lbs. and is being recruited at defensive back, although he is also his high school’s starting quarterback. When I got in contact with Coach Wilkes, he couldn’t say enough good things about Jalen. He praised him for his work ethic and his athletic ability, and said Jalen also had excellent speed, stating that he has been clocked at a 4.3 40 time. Wilkes added that Latter was a team leader and even said he believes he has the potential to be the number one defensive back in the south. It wasn’t all peaches and cream though; Coach Wilkes did point out that Jalen could improve on his technique at defensive back–however, that was due to him having to devote extra time on offensive reps.
Along with an offer from Charlotte, Jalen has received offers from Air Force and Navy, and according to Coach Wilkes is receiving lots of attention from Minnesota along with in state school Wake Forest. He has also been gaining attention from many other FBS programs. Wilkes said he believes Jalen will want to stay in close proximity to home as he is close with his mother.
When I spoke with Jalen I asked him about the importance of playing at an FBS program, and he said it’s because that’s where the best competition is and that’s where he would have the best opportunities. I also asked him what the biggest appeals to Charlotte are for him personally. He mentioned location, stating that his parents would be able to see nearly every home game; he also praised the coaching staff. I finally asked Jalen where Charlotte ranks currently on his list and he said they were in the Top 3.
Nolan is a 5’10 175 lb. defensive back, although he also sees time at running back, wide receiver, and as a punt returner. Wilkes was also very fond of Nolan, stating that he is an excellent young man, is a versatile player and is a playmaker on both sides of the ball. Nolan has received offers from Air Force and has strong interest from Charlotte; he has also received interest from a half dozen or so ACC schools. Wilkes did say that Nolan was more likely to entertain the idea of playing farther away from home but wouldn’t want to be too far. Wilkes did offer some criticism, saying Nolan needs to get stronger and hit the weight room harder.
When I spoke with Nolan I asked him how important it is to play football at the FBS level, and he said that it has been his dream his whole life. I then asked if he would consider playing at the FCS level if he had the opportunity to play sooner to which he responded that he would consider; however, only if playtime was an issue. Nolan said the biggest appeal to Charlotte is the ability to play right away and to be a part of history by being on the school’s first football team.
Thanks to Coach Wilkes, Jalen, and Nolan for their time, and we wish them good luck with the rest of the season.