2025 3-Star WR/FS Carleton Preston: Freedom HS (VA)
Freedom High School in Woodbridge, VA, has produced its fair share of athletic talent, and 2025 3-Star Wide Receiver/Free Safety, Carleton Preston, seems poised to continue that legacy. Preston's journey into football started at the tender age of 6, ignited by his father's role as a football coach. "Watching my dad coach football sparked my interest in the sport," Preston said. This early exposure led him to engage in friendly matches with peers and immerse himself in the game's intricacies, even exploring online resources to learn from the youth, college, and NFL levels.
In his development as a player, Preston highlights a roster of influential mentors who've guided him along the way. From his very first head coach, Coach Marlon, to a lineage of tough-love mentors like Coach Phil Dombek, Joe Lackey, Joe Blount, Jeff Overton, Carlos French, and Justin Winters, each has played a role in shaping his character and skills. Preston recognizes that they've challenged him and helped him grow stronger by placing him in demanding situations. And let's not forget his current head coach, Coach Darryl Overton, who continues to inspire and guide him.
With a promising career on the horizon, Preston has navigated the recruiting process with grace. Starting the summer after his freshman year, he attended camps at the University of Virginia and the University of Maryland. In his sophomore year, the offers began rolling in, with Maryland extending the first. Since then, Preston has amassed an impressive 13 Division 1 offers, a testament to his hard work and dedication. "I remain hungry, humble, and don’t take anything for granted. Every opportunity that I receive is truly a blessing," Preston remarks, demonstrating his gratitude and unwavering focus.
Beyond the football field, Preston finds ways to give back to the community. He assists his father in coaching a youth football team, showcasing his commitment to nurturing the next generation. Off the field, he revels in spending quality time with family and friends, pursuing his interests like yard work and finding solace in a well-balanced life. He's learned to manage his time effectively, recognizing the importance of maintaining a healthy personal life while excelling in his athletic pursuits.
When asked about his inspirations, Preston's eyes light up as he speaks about his father. His father's unwavering support and guidance have been invaluable. "He is my hero and true role model," Preston beams. His father's teachings extend beyond the gridiron, instilling in him essential values like discipline, responsibility, and what it means to be a true man.
As Carleton Preston's journey continues, both on and off the field, his commitment, balanced approach, and inspirational mentors serve as a testament to his potential to make an impact not only in the world of football but in the lives of those he touches. To follow his journey, connect with him on Twitter: @JujuPreston25.