By Scott Kindberg
Stephen Carlson received a Division I football scholarship offer from the University of Alabama-Birmingham a few months ago.
The Jamestown High School junior received a second one Tuesday, this one a little closer to home.
University of Albany coach Greg Gattuso paid a visit to JHS and made the offer to the 6-foot-4, 190-pound receiver.
''I think it's great,'' Red Raiders head coach Tom Langworthy said. ''In my time here, we've never had so many Division I schools coming, especially during a junior year.''
But Carlson has turned heads after an outstanding season last fall during which he caught 56 passes for 1,065 yards and 12 touchdowns, and earned first-team all-state, first-team all-Western New York and Post-Journal all-star recognition.
''Coach Gattuso liked the way Stephen looked, liked the way he carried himself and liked the way he spoke, and he offered him right there,'' Langworthy said.
A strong student as well as athlete - he helped Jamestown reach the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA championship game in basketball - Carlson will be quite a ''catch'' for a school, Langworthy predicted.
''He has so many options, academically and athletically,'' he said.
Gattuso was named the Great Danes head coach in December. A former assistant head coach at the University of Maryland and a former head coach at Duquesne University, he also was an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh for six years.
During his playing days Gattuso was a defensive lineman at Penn State, helping lead the Nittany Lions to a national title in 1982. In 12 seasons at Duquesne, he posted a 97-32 record, while making three bowl appearances during his tenure at Pitt.