Growing up in Windham, Carlton Charles learned a thing or two from his older brother, Raibonne, now a defensive tackle at the University of Maine.

On Monday, he plans to walk on to the football team at Maine, where he can continue to learn from his big brother.

“He’s a really great role model,” said Carlton, 19. “He balances his classes. Balances his time on the football field. He’s really good at balancing out what his priorities are.”

Raibonne, a junior, has been awaiting his brother’s arrival and hopes the two will reunite on the field.

Carlton will be in a pool of walk-ons who will get evaluated over a two-week period. Those who make the cut are likely to redshirt and not play until 2011.

“It’s going to be pretty cool. I haven’t played with my brother since high school,” said Raibonne. “I’ve gone home and talked to him about what he should be doing to prepare. I feel like he really understands.”

Carlton last played football in the 2009 Lobster Bowl. He had hoped to walk on at Maine last year but was a half credit shy and needed an extra class to get cleared by the NCAA.

So he spent 2009 as an assistant at Windham, helping the Eagles to the Class A state title. Jackson Taylor, a Maine freshman, quarterbacked that team.

As fall turned to winter he continued to prepare in the gym. He hopes to eventually play defensive tackle like his brother.

“He’s going to come out the first day. During (the two-week) time period we evaluate,” said Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove. “We find out he doesn’t go to class or isn’t doing those things he needs to? It’s a strike against him. I’m not worried about that with Carlton. He’s got an older brother and role model here. But we want it to be a privilege to be a part of our team. If they make it they get a helmet and spot in the locker room, and are treated like everyone else.”

Cosgrove said the staff will evaluate the younger Charles like any other prospect.

“We’re not going to compare him to his brother. He’s got his own challenges with football,” said Cosgrove. “We’ll let him come in and do the very best he can and hope for the best. We will try to provide help and guidance and those things.”

Carlton will report to class and the football field Monday.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m probably more excited than last year. I think maybe it was a good thing (I had to wait). It gave me time to really understand what I need to do.”

He also hopes to be a forestry major, just like his big brother.

 

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at: [email protected]