Pittsburgh commit Carl Fleming recently played the last game of his career Saturday at the first annual Maryland Crab Bowl. The 6-foot-1, 200 pound safety spoke with Scout.com Friday night after the Baltimore teams’ final practice. Fleming spoke about his achievements this season, his excitement for the Crab Bowl and his expectations when he gets to the University of Pittsburgh.
Scout.com: Can you take us through your season this year at Franklin?
Fleming: I think it was pretty good. We wound up 7-3, and we lost in the first round of the playoffs. This year we had more leadership, a lot better than last year. Last year we had a lot of guys who were just all about themselves, it really wasn’t about the team. This year we had a lot more leadership and a lot more guidance throughout the season. I think we came together as a good unit this year because of everybody’s strong character.
Scout.com: You were very versatile and played many different positions on the field, tell us about that.
Fleming: Yes, I played running back, quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback, safety, pretty much played them all. I had 1300 yards, 15 touchdowns. I also had 70 tackles and 3 interceptions. Pretty much whatever coach asked me to do I did, you know whatever I could do to help the team win.
Scout.com: Any special achievements or awards?
Fleming: Yes I won the Old Spice Player of the Year award for the state of Maryland, that was pretty cool. I also was named First Team All County, and I was named to Second Team All Metro.
Scout.com: Does the University of Pittsburgh want you to play cornerback or safety?
Fleming: I committed to Pittsburgh because they want me to play safety. Well linebacker or safety but I would probably say safety.
Scout.com: What would you say your strengths are at the safety position?
Fleming: Definitely my speed and my ability to hit. I have pretty good ball coverage skills, I’ve got a good eye for the ball and pretty good awareness which helps. That’s always pretty key on defense, you have to have high intensity and good ball skills. I definitely know I have good hands, that’s why I also played receiver on offense.
Scout.com: How was your official visit to the Pittsburgh campus?
Fleming: It was great, I took it last weekend actually. I definitely had a good time up there. They showed me a good time around the city, I got a lot of good information out of it, the fellas showed me a good time.
Scout.com: Who were the “fellas”?
Fleming: My man LeSean McCoy, Manny Williams, my man Ray Harris, just a couple of guys up there who showed me around. They showed me a good night out on the town, and I also got a lot of good information as far as what to expect next year coming in as a freshman. Little things like how practices are or what a normal day is like at such a big school.
Scout.com: Was there anything about the Pittsburgh campus that stood out to you or you really liked?
Fleming: I really loved everything. I love the city of Pittsburgh, it’s a big football town. All the guys and all the players are really welcoming. I had a chance to meet every coach that they have as well as most of the players. Coach Wannstedt, the head coach is a great guy, he has NFL experience and he is just a really good guy.
Scout: What are your impressions of the Pitt program?
Fleming: The Pitt program is definitely on the rise. We went to a bowl game this year, hopefully we will try and keep that up forever.
Scout: Do you expect to go in right away and play, or do you expect to sit for a year or two and learn the system?
Fleming: Well, sitting for a year is a bad thing at all. It gives you time to get stronger, get to know the program, get to know the defense. Going in as a freshman and starting is a wonderful blessing and an achievement so if that does happen for me than it happens, but if it doesn’t than I am still going to be a team player and work hard for my teammates.
Scout: What have been your thoughts on the Crab Bowl practices?
Fleming: Crab Bowl practice has been real fun, we have a lot of talented guys out here. Were just all ready to play in this game, I am sure the D.C. team is as well. Were just ready to go out there and have some fun and see what each other has.
Scout: Who has stood out to you in practice so far, any teammates look really good?
Fleming: Well, I would say everybody, really. This is an all star game so everybody is the best of the best. I could not pick out a few guys, I would have to say everyone has caught my eye so far. We are just ready to go out there and hit some of the Washington kids. They have been talking some smack, while we just go about our business and we’ll have an answer for those guys on Saturday.
Carl Fleming let his play do the talking on Saturday, totaling 5.5 tackles with a couple of pass deflections. Fleming had a couple of nice hits and really stood out during the game. He is very fast and knows where the ball is at all times. After two pass deflections the defense started shying away from going over the top in Carl’s direction. Pittsburgh is definitely getting a very talented athlete who can flat out hit and does not really have a weakness in pass coverage.