There are no road maps to your dreams.
You've got to have enough gas in the tank and be persistent to a fault.
Brion Carnes knows all about that.
Carnes was the kid who had everything as a high school freshman. He was the first freshman quarterback to ever start at Manatee High under the legendary Joe Kinnan.
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Carnes committed to USF in 10th grade. He was going to take the program to new heights.
But USF head coach Jim Leavitt got fired for allegedly striking a player and Carnes got hit with a ton of bricks.
His dream was shattered.
USF hired Skip Holtz and this match never had a chance.
Holtz was a city slicker and a comedian, while Carnes was just a down to earth kid who was probably too honest for his own good. Some people say Brion never told a lie.
He committed to Western Kentucky and then changed his mind. He wound up in Nebraska hoping he would become an all-American like his cousin, Tommie Frazier.
That trip began when he was sitting in the backseat of a car. Carnes had just landed in Bowling Green to take an official visit to Western Kentucky and the Hilltoppers then head coach, Willie Taggart, former Manatee High quarterback great.
Carnes got a call from Holtz while in the car. The coach wanted an answer. Are you coming or not?
Carnes didn't answer and Holtz took the offer away.
It didn't matter that Carnes wasn't going to play for the guy who three years later got fired for running the USF football program
into the ground.
Taggart wanted Carnes and it seemed like a good fit. But Frazier convinced Carnes to sign with Nebraska.
It didn't work out and after three years, Carnes transferred to Northern Iowa, where he went despite the school already having a phenom freshman quarterback.
It's what you love about Carnes. He has never seen a challenge he can't conquer. Carnes won the Northern Iowa quarterback job as a senior.
His dream has always been to be a professional quarterback, He figured the NFL or Canadian Football League would call, but they didn't.
So he signed with Omaha of the Champions Indoor Football League.
Yeah, you won't find that on any road map.
But Brion never quits, so the journey is still ongoing.
And now comes MLFB, the spring football league with headquarters in Lakewood Ranch. Carnes signed with MLFB and hopes to be selected this week in the league's draft.
There is going to be a franchise in Orlando and Carnes could become one of its territorial picks. Orlando could also pick Stephen Garcia of Tampa, a once-heralded quarterback who fell off the road playing for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina.
Carnes vs. Garcia for the starting job. That stirs the memories. Would it be a good fit for Carnes? He would be the underdog, but that fits him.
The road to his dream just got a lot smoother thanks to the MLFB.
Hey, Kurt Warner was playing Arena Ball when he got his chance. Johnny Unitas was playing sandlot football before he got a chance to become a Hall-of-Famer and one of the all-time great quarterbacks.
See you at the Citrus Bowl.