Carroll County’s football team attempted 20 forward passes during the entire 2018 season, completing five for a total of 65 yards.

The Cavaliers might want to put the ball in the air a little more this fall.

That’s because Carroll County has a rising senior who has committed to play wide receiver at North Carolina State.

Stephen Gosnell, who transferred to Carroll after the first semester from East Surry High School in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, has committed to the Wolfpack following a stellar junior season in the Tar Heel State.

Gosnell picked N.C. State over offers from Cincinnati, Wake Forest, Appalachian State, among others.

Gosnell split time between quarterback and receiver as East Surry reached the North Carolina Class 1-A state final, accounting for more than 2,500 yards of total offense.

This spring as a member of Carroll County’s outdoor track and field team, Gosnell won the 100 meters (11.31 seconds) and 200 (23.01) in the Three Rivers District meet at Floyd County.

Second-year Carroll County coach Jack Turner is noted for running the Wing-T offense

Turner coached Pulaski County to the Group AA Division 4 state semifinals in 2008 with a lineup that included Virginia Tech recruit Nubian Peak at running back, and the veteran coach has an idea how he might use the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Gosnell, who was rated the No. 30 recruit in North Carolina in the Class of 2020 by 247Sports.

“He’ll play the same the same position Nubian did,” Turner said. “He’s going to have the ball in his hands.”

Turner said Gosnell attended a one-day camp recently in North Carolina and was clocked at 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

“He’s probably faster than that now, because he’s gotten much, much more explosive this offseason,” the Carroll County coach said.

“He’s an athlete. I tell people, ‘I can get you bigger and stronger. I can’t get you faster.’ You’re either born with that or not.”

Gosnell has a younger brother, Benji, who will be a sophomore at Carroll County this fall. Benji Gosnell, 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, played basketball and baseball for the Cavaliers.

“He’s a fantastic football player,” Turner said of the younger Gosnell. “He’s a phenomenal basketball player, a left-hander.”

Turner is impressed with the Gosnells in other areas.

“Just the way [they have] come into Carroll County, a new place that hasn’t had a great tradition in football … those kids have acclimated themselves and worked hard.”

Carroll County will move from Class 4 to Class 3 for the 2019 season. The Cavaliers have one new opponent on the schedule, with George Wythe replacing Pulaski County.

Carroll finished 3-7 in 2018 and the program has not had a winning season since 2010.

Robert Anderson has been the high school sports editor of The Roanoke Times since 2001.

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