Make it five.
The list of North Surry Greyhounds committed to play college football increased to a handful on Wednesday when Carson Mauldin signed his National Letter of Intent with Guilford College.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Carson is hard to miss. He stood side-by-side with the intimidating offensive line of the Greyhounds that gave up just two sacks all season on pass plays.
“One of the team motto’s this year was ‘No regrets,” said Carson’s mother Misti Mauldin. “We’re lucky that Carson has been given this opportunity and wanted to try it and not have any regrets about not trying. We’re glad that he’s going to go and give it a shot not knowing anybody.”
Carson wasn’t always the commanding presence on the field that he is now. It wasn’t until his sophomore year that he began growing…and growing.
“He started his sophomore year on the offensive and defensive lines,” Lyons said. “As he got bigger and taller and longer, I was like ‘That guy can be a left tackle.’”
“He was athletic, coachable, and gave it all he had,” Lyons continued. “I knew that, in time, that it would be a good fit for him.”
Carson’s work in the weight room added to his already impressive stature. By his senior season, he became a key component of the Hounds’ offense. Carson’s father, Chris Mauldin, said Carson’s goal of playing college football looked more like reality than just a dream midway through his senior season. This is when coaches began to reach out to him.
“Halfway through the season, [Carson] was bigger, stronger, and performed better,” Chris said. “Before the season he was interested, but it became a real possibility during the season.”
His size and versatility made Carson a valuable asset all over the field. Lyons said he expects Carson to have the same type of impact with Guilford as he did in his final years with North Surry.
“As far as college football goes, I’m glad he’s giving it a go,” Lyons said. “Like his high school career, I could see it evolving, [helping him] find a niche for their team at whatever they need him to do.”
North Surry proceeded to have its best season in nearly two decades. The Greyhounds won the Western Piedmont 2A Conference with a 10-1 regular season record, going undefeated in conference play.
Much like his teammates that signed before him, Carson said the team was more like a family, and that he hopes to replicate that in college.
“It’s one thing playing with a teammate, but when you go out there with someone you would consider your brother it’s a lot different,” Carson said. “You fight a lot harder for them. It’s like being out there with my dad, somebody I would give it all for.”
“I’m going to miss all my friends and coaches,” Carson continued. “We had a really tight knit community and I’m going to miss that, for sure. Guilford offered close to the same thing, so hopefully we can get that going down there, too.”
According to Lyons, Carson ditched his senioritis when he committed to Guilford. Carson has been all business since, training before moving on to the next level of competition. As for his spot at North Surry, Lyons made it known that he will be missed and not easily replaced.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith