Jeff Traylor has been around enough good quarterbacks to know how much potential McLane Carter, the senior who led Gilmer High to an unbeaten season and Texas state championship, has for the next level.
Carter, an accurate left-hander who has flown under the recruiting services radar and, so far, is unranked, but has drawn the attention of new Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who plans to visit the listed 6-foot-3, 190-pound 2015 quarterback recruit this week. College coaches officially were allowed to begin making in-person visits Thursday, and Michigan is hosting recruits this weekend.
Michigan's only returning quarterback with playing experience is Shane Morris, a junior next fall who has made two career starts. Wilton Speight will be a redshirt freshman and Alex Malzone, an early enrollee, is a freshman. Russell Bellomy will be a senior.
"I've been around great quarterbacks, and McLane is in that category," said Traylor, who has coached Gilmer, his alma mater to three state titles since 2004.
Josh McCown, now a quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Luke McCown, a quarterback with the New Orleans Saints, are products of Gilmer, as is Carter's older brother, G.J. Kinne, a Philadelphia Eagles quarterback. Kinne frequently works with his younger brother on footwork and technique.
Carter led the Gilmer Buckeyes to a 16-0 record, completed nearly 75 percent of his attempts throwing for just under 4,000 yards and had 48 touchdowns and two interceptions. Traylor said he's shocked Carter is unranked by recruiting services but said the fact he transferred from Salado (Texas) High might be part of the reason.
"I want to put a sign on my door that if a coach asks if anyone has offered him, I want to ask him to leave, do your own evaluation," Traylor told The Detroit News. "Very few of them have the guts to offer first, especially when some magazine doesn't have four stars by his name. If someone offers first, another 50 will offer.
"If Jim Harbaugh comes down here to see him, I predict he'll have 20 offers. He's coming to look at him, so that's a good sign."
Carter was a "late bloomer," Traylor said, and grew nearly four inches and gained 20 pounds in one year, also a reason why he may have been overlooked. He expects Carter to gain another 20-25 pounds in college.
What has always been evident is his arm.
"He was always a good passer of the ball, but the big-time passing and the winning came this year," Traylor said. "He's got great composure. There's not one throw he can't make, and he's a lot better athlete than anyone knows he is. We protected him well, but he can move.
"He's very smart. There's nothing negative. No trash on him."
Carter, who recently has attracted interest from Texas Tech and Florida, also plays basketball at Gilmer and has run track.
While Texas doesn't typically get the cold weather Michigan has occasionally in late fall, Traylor said Carter has no issues throwing in chilly weather.
"We had some workouts when it was in the teens, and he threw the ball around fine," Traylor said. "It didn't bother him. His arm is strong, and he can throw it into the wind. McLane reminds me a lot of Josh and Luke, GJ was more raw."
Josh McCown worked briefly with the 49ers and Harbaugh in 2011.
"Josh told me how wonderful coach Harbaugh was, so I'm looking forward to meeting him," Traylor said.