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Ferry’s Carpenter signs with Findlay

MARTINS FERRY — Evan Carpenter, Martins Ferry’s Division IV all-Ohio linebacker, is taking his talents to the next level.

On Wednesday, the 6-3, 220-pound senior, signed his national letter-of-intent to attend the University of Findlay. The Oilers compete as a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) and of the NCAA Division II.

“I feel good. Hopefully, I made the right decision,” Carpenter said following a brief ceremony at the high school.

He said the pressure was really intense during the recruiting process.

“I’m relaxed now. This (signing) is so much weight off of my shoulders,” he admitted.

Carpenter had a banner year in the Purple-and-White on both sides of the ball, but received most of his accolades on the defensive side where he was selected as the Eastern District co-Defensive Player of the Year. He charted 80 tackles — 10 of which resulted in lost yards — four quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles, a trio of quarterback hurries, an interception and two blocked kicks.

“He did it all for us this year. He’s a very unselfish player,” Martins Ferry head coach Chas Yoder said. He also ran for 769 yards and 14 touchdowns.

In choosing the Oilers, he said he liked the coaches and the school.

Findlay has plans for him at middle linebacker, which suits him just fine.

“I’d rather play defense than offense. I like hitting people,” he offered.

While he was a stud in high school, he knows there are things he will have to work on to plat at the next level.

“My strength is stopping the run,” he acknowledged. “I just need to learn the college game.”

“I think it’s a great fit for him. I’ve never been there but some of my coaching friends have said it’s one of the best Division II programs in Ohio,” Yoder said.

He thought so highly of Carpenter that he built the defense around him so he could showcase his talents.

“We designed our defense for him so he could go sideline to sideline and up the middle,” Yoder admitted. “That’s what he did. He was all over the field.

“He’ll have to work on his pass defense in college, but he’ll get used to it.”

Carpenter also received offers from Toledo, Youngstown and Akron as a preferred walk-on.

He is the son of Dan and Sherri Carpenter.

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