Nick Carman is far from making a college decision, but he already knows about being accepted into a new family.
He was adopted by his family when he was just two weeks old. He knows no other family other than maybe Mountain Pointe football. At some point during his upcoming senior year, his destination for the next four years will become known.
Carman, 17, can only hope it is as smooth of a transition as he had with his parents — Paula and Ken — and older sister, Aubri, 24, from Day 1.
“They have been such positive role models,” he said. “I couldn’t have found a better family if I was looking for one myself.”
Now that Carman has become a hot prospect, he will have a chance to be picky when it comes to selecting his next football family.
The Mountain Pointe senior-to-be has hit the weight room, packed on about 40 pounds since the Pride won the state championship and watched the scholarship offers come flooding in over the past few weeks.
Carman, who started every game at left tackle last season, has 12 offers including UNLV, Wyoming, Northern Arizona and all of the service academies.
“It was kind of shocking,” Carman said of the attention. “One or two came and then they just started rolling in. It’s a blessing to see it happen.”
The 6-foot-4 Carman has always had a big body frame and now his body is starting to resemble that of a Division I prospect. He says he finished last year at 228 pounds. He now weighs in at 275.
“Nick has been busting his butt in the weight room,” Pride offensive line coach Aaron Frana said. “He’s on the top 10 board in the weight room for bench, squat and cleans. He’s added 30 pounds or more.”
Dramatic weight increases can be tough on the joints and tendons, but Carman said he feels great.
“It’s all good weight,” he said. “After last season, Coach Frana said I had to get stronger and improve my footwork. I hit the weight room. I had to get better and to get better, you have to work hard so I went to work.”
For Carman, who has a 3.5 grade-point average, it isn’t just about personal growth this summer as the team sets out to keep a championship mentality while moving on without last year’s leaders and playmakers.
“It started in January,” Carman said. “We had a captain’s counsel where plenty of players stood up in a leadership role. We’ve made good progress of moving on, but keeping the same mentality of those guys who led us to a state championship.
“There are some spots to fill and guys have stepped up. Everyone’s working hard to have a good championship team. Some junior varsity kids have come up and they are really improving.”
While others like Collin Lambdin, Bruce Hester and Austin Cronen have stepped in as well, Carman has asserted himself into a leadership role as well by making sure he’d be available anywhere on the offensive line.
“Mentally, he has taken the next step by knowing everyone’s role on the offensive line,” Frana said. “If we needed to, we could move him to guard or center and he would know his job.”
Carman believes it is just part of progression.
“If I want a chance to play at the next level, I have to do everything to make sure I am prepared,” he said. “It’s the same with our team. If we want to stay at a high level, we have be ready to do anything we are asked to do.
“So you do everything you can.”
• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.