Disruptive Georgia defensive end Lorenzo Carter can make a strong case for consideration as the country's most promising pass-rusher. The 6'5", 232-pound Norcross High School product spent his high school career pummeling blockers en route to the backfield, securing a slew of accolades in the process.
He earned First-Team All-USA honors, a 247Sports First-Team All-American nod and a spot on the Under Armour All-American Game roster. The 5-star prospect picked up a team-high six tackles in the annual national senior showcase event.
Carter led Norcross to a second consecutive state title in 2013, spearheading the stingy defensive unit throughout a postseason surge in the highest class of Georgia football competition. He stuffed the stat sheet throughout a scintillating senior campaign, leaving behind a legacy at the school.
After reaching the heights of high school action, Carter is focused on improving his skills at the next level.
“I’ll be looking forward to going to college because I’m going to grow so much as a player when I get there,” he told Athens Banner-Herald writer Marc Weiszer.
It remains to be seen where that growth will occur. Carter has several programs giving chase during the final stages of this recruiting cycle, including SEC rivals LSU, Georgia and Florida.
He spent time on each campus, either during the regular season or in recent weeks. Carter also used an official visit at Florida State in January, checking in on the national champs.
The Seminoles hope to stay in the race for his services despite the exit of defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. He took over the same position at Georgia shortly after winning his third straight title as an assistant coach (two at Alabama).
The Bulldogs are a prohibitive favorite in this race. Proximity plays a key role, as does Georgia's immediate need for a pass-rushing playmaker.
Carter would likely line up at outside linebacker for the majority of his snaps in Athens. That may hold true on most campuses due to his impressive sideline-to-sideline pursuit and elite speed for his stature (clocked at 4.63 seconds in the 40-yard dash per 247Sports).
He is rated the nation's second-best weak-side defensive end prospect and the No. 18 overall recruit in 247Sports' composite rankings. Carter is considered the consensus top player in talent-laden Georgia.
Where will 5-star DE Lorenzo Carter play college football?
His recruitment is a strong topic of conversation in Tallahassee and Gainesville these days. Both Florida State and Florida view Carter as a priority target and sent coaches to his recent basketball game.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, new Seminoles defensive coordinator Charles Kelly and Gators recruiting coordinator Joker Phillips served as bookends for the Carter family in the bleachers.
Kelly sat alongside Carter's father. Feet away, Phillips settled in next to his mother.
“That was pretty funny; It was a little awkward at first, but then you just relax,” Carter’s mother, Lisa, told the Journal-Constitution. “They’re people, we’re people, and you just have normal conversation. It will all work out how it supposed to in the end."
Awkwardness tends to accompany a nationwide recruitment, especially at this stage of the process when rival coaches are stepping on each others' toes to get a few words in with Carter. He is scheduled to announce his collegiate intentions at 3 p.m. EST on national signing day.
Prediction: Carter concludes his recruitment by confirming the growing sentiment that he'll end up in Athens. He picks Georgia over a strong group of SEC rivals and the national champs.
Carter has the skill set to become an immediate weapon in the Bulldogs defense and can do his damage in front of a familiar crowd.
“They’re in my backyard, they’re close to home,” Carter told The Athens Banner-Herald less than a week before signing day. “My parents can come see me whenever they wanted. They’ll be at all the games.”