Carmody 5A all-state

Mars junior lineman sought-after grid recruit

January 9, 2019 Cranberry Local Sports

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A tight end as a sophomore, Mars junior Michael Carmody was recently named to the Class 5A All-State team after a stellar season at right tackle.

ADAMS TWP — The Mars football team was searching for an offensive lineman.

Michael Carmody answered the call and then some.

After catching two passes as a tight end in 2017, Carmody was switched to right tackle and excelled at the position as a junior last fall, helping fullback Garrett Reinke to 1,807 rushing yards and quarterback Tyler Kowalkowski to 1,168 yards through the air.

Carmody’s effort earned him recent recognition to the Class 5A All-State team. Only six linemen from across the state received the honor.

“I felt I did really well, but was not expecting to be named All-State,” Carmody said. “When I found out, I was very excited. It’s awesome.”

“His run and pass blocking were both very good,” said Mars coach Scott Heinauer. “His footwork is phenomenal for a kid his size (6-foot-7, 290 pounds). Moving him from tight end to tackle was better for us, better for him.

“Some people have him ranked as the top lineman in the state. He’s the prototypical tackle colleges are looking for and has a 4.0 GPA. What is there to not like about the kid?”

Heinauer and his staff notified Carmody about the position change at the start of summer practices in August.

“I saw it coming because we needed another guy on the line,” said Carmody. “When I was playing tight end, I was basically a tackle who would run a pass pattern every few plays. It took me a while to get the blocking schemes down, but once I did, I was very comfortable with it. I was confident entering the season.”

Opposing defensive linemen had their hands full while going up against Carmody.

“There were a few guys who were a bit quicker at the snap of the ball, but no one was bigger than me,” said Carmody. “I was more physical than them.

“It took me a while to realize I could overpower people, but as the season went on, I developed a mean streak.”

Carmody also stars for Mars’ boys basketball team. He aided the team in winning the first WPIAL title in program history last season before reaching the state championship game.

He is currently the big man opposing teams have to contend with as the Planets carried a 9-1 record into Tuesday’s section game against Plum.

While some high school athletes decide to focus solely on one sport, Carmody wanted to continue his career on the hardwood.

“Basketball has helped me so much with my athleticism and I never thought of leaving it behind,” he said. “Working on my post moves has helped to improve my footwork and that translates to football.

“There was a time when I thought about playing basketball in college. When I saw my brother (Robby, now at Notre Dame) going through the recruiting process, I thought I might go that route. But it was entering my sophomore year when I settled on football.”

To that end, Carmody has a big decision to make. He has attracted interest from a bevy of Division I programs, most notably Penn State, Pitt, Michigan, Wisconsin and Virginia Tech.

“The move to tackle was great for me because that’s the position I will be playing in college. I hope to (verbally) commit to a school by the end of this school year,” Carmody said.

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