September 16, 2013

Carter learns his lesson


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NORCROSS - Like most prospects who aspire to be great, Norcross defensive end Lorenzo Carter is honest with himself.

When he and his Blue Devil teammates took the field on August 24 to take on Booker T. Washington out of Miami, Fla., Carter left some wonder whether or not he has what it takes to be a big-time player at next level.

Just a few weeks later, the Peach State's top player according to Rivals.com had a chance to redeem himself against some stiff competition in 2015 five-star offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt (North Gwinnett).

Carter put his talent on display versus the talented North Gwinnet junior and showed that all of the hype surrounding him and his recruitment is well deserved.

The difference between the two performances, according to Carter, was a change in mind-set.

"In week one, I felt like I had to go right through the man. I was trying to out-man him, but he was like 315 (pounds) with huge legs. Of course, it wasn't working," Carter said with a laugh. "This week we worked on counter moves all week. I had reports posted in my locker of people saying I don't have counter moves and that I just out-athlete people. So we worked on hands and counter moves and everything, and I feel like I had to come out here and do what I do in practice. I know I can't come out here, see the lights, and just out-athlete people. I had to do what I had been working on."

Carter and Hyatt are familiar with one another. The two blue chippers faced each other in 2012 and again at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Chicago this summer.

The Norcross standout says the two are bitter enemies on the field while having a friendly relationship once they step outside the white lines.

"On the field, Mitch and I want to kill each other, but off the field we are cool," he said. "After the game we talked to each other and told each other, 'good game.'"

Saturday night's performance for Carter was one that was seen by a number of coaches as well. Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin were in attendance as well as Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and running backs coach Bryan McClendon, who serves as Carter's primary recruiter.

This summer, Carter publicly named the Gators as his leader, but the Rivals100 standout says that things have recently changed.

"It's too early to name a leader," Carter said. "I named [Florida] as a leader after my visit there. It was a great visit, but my leader would change after every visit if it was like that. So I just have to wait it out. It is a cluster of leaders with Georgia, Florida, and Bama."

As one would expect, Carter's recruitment is as active as any in the country, and the five-star prospect will be taking his first official visit this weekend to Florida.

He has yet to schedule his other official visits, but he has a good idea when he will visit the other two schools in his top three.

"With Georgia and Alabama, it will be after the season," Carter said of his official visit schedule. "I was at Georgia for the South Carolina game and I'll probably visit there again and for Alabama I'll be going to the LSU game."

So with three schools on top, which school is recruiting Carter the hardest at the moment?

"I would say it is a toss up between Florida and Georgia," he said. "Both of them are coming hard."

Carter and his mother visited Georgia last weekend and saw the Bulldogs defeat South Carolina in a top 10 matchup. The Bulldog staff didn't show the Peach State pass rusher anything new, but Carter did come away impressed with the atmosphere in the Classic City.

"It was great," Carter said of his visit to Georgia. "I got my sister down to Georgia for the first time and she got to experience the game day atmosphere there. It was great. It was a lot of fun. I didn't see anything new really, but it was a great game day atmosphere."

Now that he has visited all of his top schools and has had a chance to talk extensively with the coaches at each school, there isn't much, if anything, new that he can see.

With a National Signing Day decision looming, what can a coaching staff show or tell him that will help secure his signature in February?

"I guess they could just show me how they want to use me and get me comfortable with the defense," he said. "I guess that is all they can do."

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