One of the biggest rivalry games in the state is the well-known annual showdown between Carrollton vs Rome. Each year the game is heated, and last weekend’s was no different, in fact, it was one for the ages that resulted in a dramatic 24-20 finish in favor of Carrollton. For the entire game Carrolton held the lead, even up 17-3 at halftime, but Rome made a comeback, and took the lead with just 1:30 seconds left on the clock. The Trojan’s sophomore quarterback Myles Morris had little time to operate, but with the help of several penalties and a long 30-yard run, Carrollton had positioned themselves 60 yards down field to the 20 yard line, and there was just under 30 seconds remaining in the game.
After two unproductive plays, it was now 3rd down, and the Trojans were in need of a big play. No less than a minute ago Morris had gashed the Rome defense with his legs, so they were honed into stop the sophomore from scrambling. Lined up out right in the slot was 6’3″ senior Austin Waldrop, whose lengthy frame is a perfect redzone target for this very situation. Morris took the snap, dropped back a few steps, and targeted his big senior who was racing his way towards the endzone.
The ball floated, hanging in the air for Waldrop to make a play. The athletic senior was being heavily face-guarded by the Rome corner, but the senior timed his jump perfectly, catching the pass at it’s apex then coming down smashing just inside the endzone. The referee signaled touchdown, the crowd went wild, the sideline erupted, Carrollton had re-taken the lead with just 20 seconds left on the clock, and ultimately a huge season-swinging win for the program.
Waldrop had made the unquestioned play of the week, and the nearly 3000 votes on our website just affirmed the incredible play that everyone at Carrollton already knew was #1. For the senior, the play and the win was much bigger than himself.
“In Carrollton, our fans truly are our 12th man. The atmosphere when we scored was awesome. It wasn’t just another touchdown, we played the game for Chase McDaniel, a player on our team who has been fighting cancer since the summer.” Waldrop continued, “Chase was not able to attend the game under the circumstances, but in that moment you could see the entire community coming together letting Chase know we did this for him. It was a very emotional victory and I am very proud to have been apart of it.”
The Trojans are undefeated, and having beat their biggest regular season opponent in Rome they are in good position for the rest of the regular season going into the state playoffs. In some state media polls Carrollton is ranked as high as #2, which for seniors like Waldrop, that is exactly how they envisioned the season playing out.
“The first goal we as a team set was to win the region with an undefeated regular season, which of course sets our team on the right track for our main goal, which is a 5-A State Championship,” Waldrop said.
Right now, Waldrop does not have any visits planned, and to be perfectly honest, has not heard from many colleges either. The lanky senior has mostly lined up in the slot for the Trojans where he has been a matchup nightmare and has quickly become a favorite target of Morris when in the redzone. The senior had 3 touchdowns on the year, and feels like the work this last offseason has paid dividends.
“This past offseason, I tried focus on perfecting the basics: blocking, route running, and studying different coverages.”
Waldrop is a consistent route runner with some flex potential at the next level with his height. If he continues to fill out his frame to be over 200 lbs., and sharpen up his blocking, there is a lot of potential versatility in where you line up class of 2020 athlete all over the field.
He has excellent ball skills; that’s evident in his game-winning catch with the acrobatics he showed while being heavily defended. The senior also plays lacrosse, so unsurprisingly, he models his game after another two-sport athlete that has had good success in the NFL before starring at Stanford in college.
“Chris Hogan, I like how he’s a shifty fast slot, plus he has a background of playing lacrosse, and I also play lacrosse, so I’m a big fan of him.”
Right now, Waldrop is under the radar among college coaches, but his early season film is promising, and worth the watch for any D1 college looking for a longer pass-target. There is still plenty of games left to play, and with Carrollton looking like one of the best teams in 5-A, they are definitely set to play important games later this year, which gives Waldop ample opportunities to make more spectacular plays. So stay tuned to @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to keep track of the senior’s recruitment and other athletes across the Peach State.
Interested in recruiting Austin Waldrop? Click HERE to visit his Recruit Georgia profile.