Servite RB Quaid Carr fits perfect with the Aztecs

Credit: Servite Athletics

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Quaid Carr (Credit: Servite Athletics)

Current Fresno State RB Bryson Donelson paced the state of California in rushing yards in 2023. He recorded 3,297 yards in helping Central Valley High School win the 2-A state title.

Servite High School RB Quaid Carr, who committed to SDSU last weekend, rushed for 1,201. Despite the gaudy statistical difference, Carr arguably accomplished more than Donelson last year because of the competition he played against.

Central Valley competes in the Tri-Canyon League. They outscored their conference opponents by over 100 points.

Servite plays in the Trinity League. Ranked by High School Football America as the toughest league in the United States in 2023, it is home to Mater Dei (Santa Ana), St. John Bosco, JSerra Catholic, Santa Margarita, Orange Lutheran, and Servite.

Donelson, the Tri-Canyon MVP, scored ten rushing touchdowns and averaged 16 carries and 125 yards across four league games. Carr, a first-team Trinity League selection, reached paydirt six times while averaging 18 carries and 90.2 rushing yards. His totals include an eight carry for negative seven-yard game against CA Open Division Champ Mater Dei and three consecutive 100+ yard performances to end the regular season.

“He’s everything that you would want in a football player,” Servite head coach Chris Reinert told EVT. “He’s tough. He’s tough-minded. He plays hard. He cares about the game, cares about his teammates. He’s a fantastic player. He’s going to have a great career at the next level.”

“He’s got tremendous instincts. He’s got home run speed. That’s the biggest trait that identifies him is he’s got speed that can score on any given play, and I think you see that on tape. He breaks through that first level of the defense, and if that second level isn’t right there to fit him up pretty quickly, it could be tough for them because he could take it all the way.”

Credit: Servite Athletics

Quaid Carr’s Fit at SDSU

Reinert spent over a decade as a coach in the Pac-12 before taking over as Servite’s head coach last year. His experience in the college ranks gives him a unique perspective on supporting his athletes as they choose where to play at the next level.

“Because of my experience with all of this, I emphasize to our kids that it’s not so much about the name on the jersey or the helmet or this perceived prestige,” Reinert explained. “You’ve got to go find a program where their values and their commitment level to you aligns with what you’re looking for, and the state is such that you can go and have success because it doesn’t matter where you go if you and that program aren’t exactly on the same page or your developmental track isn’t the same as their expectation level.”

“You may find that big-level program, but you might find yourself in the portal five months later. You see such a high turnover rate because I think a lot of times kids are drawn to the idea that you’ve got to go to the biggest and best school possible without necessarily taking into consideration what the best overall fit is.”

“The University of Washington is a tremendous school and a tremendous opportunity. Ditto for the University of Utah and the others that were pursuing Quaid. But the fact of the matter is that San Diego State presented the best opportunity for him and the best fit when you factor in all the different things that go along with it.”

Servite’s head coach listed location, scheme, connection with the coaches, and commitment to development as part of what makes a place the correct place for a player. Given these criteria, it is no surprise Carr wanted to be an Aztec.

Location

Before NIL and unlimited transfers, the worry of coaches and fan bases was waiting to see if athletes’ verbal commitments would become national letters of intent. When the Pac-12 dissolved and, with it, SDSU’s place in the Power 5, the Aztecs lost the pledges of a handful of players for the Class of 2024.

NLIs in today’s climate are ironic, considering how quickly some players switch schools. Like every athlete connected to SDSU, Carr has the freedom to change his mind. The universities he turned down, however, suggest his commitment to the Aztecs is strong.

According to Reinert, Carr held committable offers from Utah and Washington. Proximity to his Anaheim home was one reason he spurred the Big 10 and Big XII schools. The best players at every level dedicate themselves to their craft. During exhausting hours, they make connections with those laboring with them.

“Oh, it’s awesome,” Reinert replied when asked about Carr staying close to home. “That’s definitely outside of the scope of things, but on a personal level, that’s fantastic. I love that. Obviously, it keeps his support system closer. The fact that we – myself and other players – will be able to go see him and see him perform and see great success from him is going to help our program and also help theirs.”

Keeping those relationships going and allowing his community to watch him in person matters. Carr’s dad is Servite’s running backs coach. Like Reinert, he will get to enjoy Carr’s career up close and personal.

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Scheme

Servite’s scheme has similar elements to Sean Lewis’ designs. Reinert has been an admirer of Lewis since 2019 when Lewis’ Kent State competed against Arizona State, where Reinert was employed as a special teams assistant.

On tape, Carr excels in many ways Lewis requires of his running backs. Lined up to the left or right of the QB, he often starts his runs parallel to the line of scrimmage. This approach limits the holes Carr can choose and slightly reduces the time to process where to run the ball. The rising senior shows terrific instincts to find the correct place to carry the ball.

Due to Servite’s spread offense that aims to win the numbers game, Carr’s ball-carrying intuition takes advantage of the scheme. This same element is essential at SDSU.

Carr also caught a variety of passes out of the backfield. He ran wheel routes, swing passes, and screens. He showed good hands and should be a threat in the passing game. Due to the competition in the Trinity League, he also has advanced pass-blocking skills for his age.

“He’s a three-down back,” Reinert said. “He does everything well. He, obviously, runs well with the football and can get yardage for us both on the edge and between the tackles. He can get tough yards. He can lower his shoulder on short yardage plays and near the goal line.”

“But he’s also very good in pass protection. You see him on tape, in particular against edge rushers from Mater Dei, who are highly touted, and he’s stepping up and fitting them up. He’s also a threat out of the backfield. I think he caught 25 passes last year, so he’s a three-down back.”

“He does all of those things well, and we’ll continue to utilize him in all those facets. We’ll run him between the tackles. We’ll get him on the edge. We’ll use him in pass pro. We’ll get him out as a receiver. He’s got all of those abilities within his toolbox.”

Chris Reinert (Servite Athletics)

Connection with Coaches

Shortly after his hire, Lewis toured southern California schools to introduce himself, offer prep athletes, and share his vision for SDSU to be home to as much local talent as possible. Reinert recalled Lewis’ visit to Servite and was impressed by his charisma and goals for the program.

Reinert also has a personal connection with Carr’s future RB coach, Darian Hagan. They were colleagues together at Colorado. Knowing Hagan’s personality, skills, and values as a coach, he sees a great fit between Hagan and Carr.

“Sean Lewis is a fantastic coach,” Reinert said. “He did a great job at Kent State. His offenses have always been up-tempo and fast-paced. They get the ball to their playmakers in space. I’ve always been a fan of what he does. … They’re setting the tone that they want to do a great job to keep the local talent home to the best that they can, and I think that’s important. They’ve obviously done a great job with Quaid. …”

“I worked directly with Darian Hagan, the running backs coach there, at Colorado for three years between 2020 and 2022. … I know the type of coach and teacher Darian Hagan is, and I know the type of personality that Quaid Carr has and how he best reacts and responds to coaching. And I think that’s a perfect fit to help get the best out of Quaid.”

Credit: Servite Athletics

Commitment to Development

The changing landscape of college athletics is fraught with dangers but also brings opportunities. There is more pressure to win immediately. Big donors want to see their money pay off with wins.

A casualty of that approach is player development. Why bring in a player who will be ready in a couple of years instead of someone who can help the team this season?

Carr has the size (6 foot, 185 pounds) to play right away, but he also has an impressive history of improvement, suggesting he will be better each year in college.

At the CIF Southern Section Track and Field Finals, Carr placed 5th in Division III with a personal best time of 10.74 in the 100m. In the past year, Carr trimmed tenths of a second off his time while simultaneously gaining ten pounds. Reinert said Carr has the frame to be in the 195 to 200 hundred range once he stops running track and settles into a college weight program.

“He works,” Reinert added. “He gets it. We’ve got a pretty darn good program here as far as high school setups go. Part of that too is a testament to our track coach Brandon Thomas and our strength coach Matt Chandler. They do a great job with him here. He puts in the work, and we’re seeing the fruits of the labor.”

Carr’s commitment to improving mirrors Lewis’ belief that development is key. The Aztecs have always thrived on pouring into players for years before seeing that pay off on the gridiron. What’s changed is the importance of this process at schools above them in the NIL arms race.

As more schools look to free agency, fewer are building from within. For athletes who see the primary purpose of college to prepare them for the professional ranks, SDSU could be highlighted in their eyes.

“I still think you need to pour into the development piece of it,” Lewis said on Episode 132 of The SDSU Podcast when asked if NIL and unlimited transfers make development less important. “These high school athletes if they are ready-made men, they’re going to be above our head at the beginning of this whole thing. The guys that have been great here and historically at this level are guys that develop during their younger years of college. The mental, the physical, the football IQ, you’re developing all of that so a guy peaks and is ready to play as he moves through his journey.”

SDSU’s Class of 2025 is off to a great start

Carr is the second commitment for the Class of 2025. He joins Millikan High School QB JP Mialovski as rising seniors who have given their pledge to the Aztecs. Time will tell what Carr and Mialovski’s journeys hold, but at this early stage, Lewis and his staff have found foundational athletes to build their program around.

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