Otterbein inks SV#8217;s Carpenter

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

AID — Wanted: Running back with quality skills. Apply at Otterbein College.

If the Otterbein Cardinals actually put out an advertisement for a running back, Derek Carpenter would have been hired.

Although Carpenter won’t be hired by Otterbein, he will be on the team after signing a letter-of-intent Friday to play with the Cardinals.

Email newsletter signup

“Running back is a need for them. They have been low on halfbacks the past few years. I want to beef up the running game,” Carpenter said. “I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work, but I know if I work hard I can get some playing time.”

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Carpenter was the Associated Press Southeast district co-Offensive of the Year and was first team All-Ohio in Division VI.

Carpenter shared the Southern Ohio Conference Back of the Year award with East’s Arthur Henderson.

Carpenter carried 148 times for 1,142 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. He showed his versatility with 10 receptions for 101 yards and also returned kickoffs and punts.

“I have to improve my speed a little and gain some strength, but they liked the way I could see the field. I just need to work on getting the strength up in my legs,” Carpenter said.

Tiffin, Capital and Washington & Jefferson were on Carpenter’s college football playing list, but he fell in love with the campus after a visit.

“When I went up there it was a really nice campus. I liked the way they really emphasize education and athletics,” Carpenter said. “I really liked the coaching staff and the direction the program is heading.”

The Cardinals were 7-3 last season, their first winning record since 1999 and only the second since 1982, and Joe Loth was the Coach of the Year in the Ohio Athletic Conference.

Vikings coach Rusty Webb expects Carpenter to fit well into the Otterbein program.

“Derek will have an excellent chance at the next level. He has a great work ethic and determination,” Webb said.

“Derek’s not a big kid, but he plays bigger and he’s a very physical player. He won’t shy away from contact.”

Carpenter plans to major in business management. He is the son of John and Linda Carpenter.