Lorenzo Carter is now on the clock.
No, he’s not going to be an NFL general manager, but the clock is ticking when it comes to making his UGA debut.
With Carter being the No. 1 recruit for the Bulldogs, the pressure will be on him to play and succeed right away.
As good of an athlete as Carter is, it may take some time for him to be the player everyone expects him to be just because making an impact at defensive end as a true freshman can be a challenge. But when he takes the field for the first time, fans will see why the Bulldogs were going hard after him during recruiting season.
Here are some things fans should expect from Carter in 2014.
The Bulldogs were good at sacking the quarterback, tallying 33 sacks in 13 games last year. Carter’s specialty is getting after the QB, as he recorded 24 sacks in two seasons at Norcross High School in Norcross, Georgia.
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will make sure he gets his edge-rushers in position to make plays. So that will mean Carter will get an opportunity to get a few sacks in 2014.
But the question is what position will he play?
Carter is 6’5” and 232 pounds, so that size is ideal for him to play linebacker. However, he is big enough to play defensive end.
It all depends on the system. If the Bulldogs go to a 4-3 scheme, then Carter will play defensive end. If they are in a 3-4, Carter will play outside linebacker, where he will be the edge-rusher.
It could come down to having him be a hybrid player. Because Carter can play numerous positions on the field, the coaching staff may make a position solely for him where he’s on the field a lot more than an average true freshman linebacker.
The reason Carter can play numerous positions is the fact that he could be the most athletic defensive end the Bulldogs have recruited.
Not only did he dominate on the football field at Norcross, but he is also currently doing the same thing with the basketball team. Carter plays center for the Blue Devils, and he helped the team win a state title last year.
With him playing basketball, Carter has developed tools such as balance, footwork and concentration that will help him on the football field.
It also has helped his leaping skills, as he has a 42-inch vertical jump, according to a report by the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That can only mean he will not have an issue batting down passes or making plays in coverage.
And because of his athleticism, he should see a good amount of time on the field this upcoming season. However, he will not become a full-time starter until 2015.
Carter will start his career as a situational player because he still has some developing to do when it comes to his body. Also, there is already a good group of talented linemen and linebackers on the roster, so there's no rush to put Carter on the field.
But he’s too talented of a player to have him ride the bench in his first year. So the coaches will do everything they can to get Carter as many reps as possible his freshman year. Then when his sophomore year comes around, he will have a very good chance of becoming a dominant player and help the Bulldogs become a stout defensive squad.
There is no doubt Carter has the potential to be successful in Athens. He has the tools to be an elite pass-rusher, but he can also play sideline to sideline, and he is not bad in pass coverage as well.
Not only did the Bulldogs get a top-notch defensive end, but they also potentially got a game-changing player who will make the defense an elite unit.
Whether Carter makes an impact in 2014 is the biggest question because he will need time to develop. But he will play this season, and fans will get a glimpse of how good Carter will be in the future.