Nazir Stackhouse: Georgia star Jalen Carter will prove teams wrong that pass on him in 2023 NFL Draft
ATHENS — NFL Draft talk has centered largely around two storylines: the quarterbacks, and Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter.
How low might the Bulldogs’ dominant defender go in the wake of his offseason issues?
Georgia defensive tackle and former Carter roommate Nazir Stackhouse provided some insight when meeting with the media following the Bulldogs’ practice on Tuesday.
“Any team that passes up on Jalen, he’s just going to prove them different and prove them wrong,” said Stackhouse, who was alongside Carter in the starting lineup all season long.
“Wherever he goes, he’s going to go out there and he’s going to be Jalen Carter like he was at the University of Georgia.”
Carter was a one-man wrecking machine for the Bulldogs’ the past two seasons, with former UGA defensive tackles and 2022 first-round picks Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt both saying Carter was better then them.
While questions of Carter’s off-field character have come up — he was arrested and charged with racing and reckless driving before a plea bargain settled his case with no jail time — no one doubts his heart on the football field.
“Jalen didn’t have to come back and play after his first injury (foot), nor after his second injury, (knee), but both times he wanted to overcome that injury,” UGA coach Kirby Smart said. “He begged us to put him in in games he was hurt. The competitive character he’s shown I think has been really good.
“I also think his teammates really respect Jalen. Jalen earned the respect of his teammates. They love being around him. That’s a lot of things you can say about him.”
Terry Robiskie, a 38-year NFL coaching veteran, said it helps Carter that he played for Georgia, and he doesn’t believe teams will allow the off-field issues to factor into his draft stock.
“We are talking about another guy that’s a very talented football player … the guy is coming from a top-notch football program,” Robiskie said during the On The Beat program. “He’s coming from a very respectable school, a very respectable head coach.
“From as societal standpoint, it will bother some people, but from a whole, it won’t bother those (NFL) people.”
Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell was somewhat cryptic when recently discussing Carter.
“We talked to a teammate of his the other day and man, he told us some things we didn’t know,” Campbell reportedly said. “That nobody probably would’ve known. It was like, oh, that’s interesting.”
“So the teams that do pass him up, Jalen, I wouldn’t say he would have a chip on his shoulder, because he’s just one of those guys that’s like, it doesn’t bother me, I’m just going to play anyway,” Stackhouse said. “He has a really good way of showing everyone that he’s him.”
The current players who have spoken with the media this spring:
• Ladd McConkey
• Kendall Milton
• Sedrick Van Pran
• Brock Bowers
• Tate Ratledge
• Arian Smith
• Javon Bullard
• Zion Logue
• Kamari Lassiter
• Smael Mondon
• Nazir Stackhouse
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