School: Olathe North
Position: Offensive Line
If Darren Sproles carries the torch for the running backs of the 2000s, it is Josh Carroll who most dominantly portrays the offensive lineman. Although somewhat undersized, Carroll used a mean streak on the field to dominate opponents and establish himself as one of the best offensive lineman in Sunflower League history.
Carroll truly emerged on the scene as a junior at Olathe North, in 2000. Offensively, Carroll, along with Taylor Lewis, anchored an offensive line that may have been the best of any team throughout the decade. Carroll helped pave the way for over 3,500 rushing yards for Olathe North that season, in addition to establishing himself as a terror on the defensive line as well. When all was said and done, Carroll had helped Olathe North win their third 6A state championship in four years. He also was named to the Kansas Top 11 Team, First Team All-State Class 6A, and he was named First Team All-Metro Sports for his work on the offensive line.
Carroll’s senior year turned out to be just as dominate. Offensively, Carroll helped propel Olathe North running back Maurice Mack to over 2,000 yards rushing. Defensively, he may have been even more dominant. Carroll recorded 7 sacks, 4 solo tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, one interception, and 55 tackles. Carroll was one of the anchors to an Olathe North defense that allowed a mere 136 yards per game, and only 2.8 yards per play. The 2001 squad went on to win the 6A state title with a solid victory over Manhattan High School—the title was Olathe North’s fourth in five years.
Carroll ended up being awarded Kansas Top 11 and First Team All-State Class 6A again in 2001, and he was also once again named First Team All-Metro Sports as an offensive lineman. Carroll’s success after Olathe North came mostly on the wrestling mat, where he wrestled at D1-AA Appalachian State.