Barrett Carter: Elite 2021 LB felt “ready to play at Sanford Stadium” on latest visit
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. The play sheet today calls for another chance to see where elite junior LB Barrett Carter is at after a recent visit.
Barrett Carter should be seen as one of those “must-have” prospects for Georgia in the 2021 cycle.
The rising senior from North Gwinnett High School has already been an in-state priority for his class for some time. But this is beginning to be go time for prospects like Carter as they start taking those big research unofficial visits necessary before getting their arms around a future college decision.
Carter was at Georgia earlier this month for a “Junior Day” visit. He followed up that trip with an outing to see Georgia Tech on Saturday. Clemson was planned for Sunday but that had to be rescheduled. Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney wasn’t going to be there to see him that day.
That trip to Athens was another beneficial experience. For starters, it was the first time he’d ever tried on the Georgia uniform for the typical recruit photo shoot. He did not describe the experience in common tones.
“I felt like I was ready to play at Sanford Stadium,” Carter said. “To be honest. I’m kidding, but well no I am not kidding. It was really cool having the savage pads on. It was just really cool.”
He aims to wear No. 1 in college, but he understands the deal. The way he looks at that is another example of why he is seen as an intelligent and highly-instinctive defender.
“For a freshman to wear that number, uh, that is pretty rare,” Carter said. “But that’s my goal. I want to wear No. 1 in college.”
When he left Georgia, there was a clear thing on his mind.
“Just how much of a priority that they made me feel that day,” Carter said. “It felt like I was on my official visit to Georgia. Like just all of the coaches, I am talking about the assistants, the player personnel guys, the head coach and everybody was just showing me love. That was huge to me. That stuck out the most out of everything.”
Barrett Carter: How he might fit into the 2021 class
Carter rates as a 4-star recruit for 2021 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. He’s slotted as the nation’s No. 6 OLB and No. 100 overall recruit, but his game film and reputation befits a much higher rating.
He’s being recruited by UGA to be an ILB for assistant Glenn Schumann. Georgia has not yet signed a true ILB in the 2020 class after picking up Rian Davis, Nakobe Dean and Trezmen Marshall in 2019. South Georgia ATH D.J. Lundy is still being recruited to play ILB for the 2020 class, but the Bulldogs will also see at least Monty Rice exhaust his eligibility after the 2020 season.
Georgia 4-star DB commit David Daniel is the veteran commit of the 2021 class. Carter said Daniel has already been communicating with him about staying home.
What is the biggest pull for Carter to Georgia at this time?
“That’s the home team,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing. It is close to home and its really not a big difference I would say from my high school. I feel like I am at my high school when I am at Georgia. So I would say the home feeling there. For sure.”
When Carter got out of the car in the parking lot for that visit last weekend, he immediately felt at ease. Coach Todd Hartley was there to greet him, among many other members of the program.
“My girlfriend was there,” he said. “They were talking to her. They were talking to my parents. All the coaches were just very friendly. That was just amazing to me.”
Carter took part in the unofficial NBA 2K21 tournament among the recruits. He paired up on the sticks with his North Gwinnett teammate for that event. That is 4-star CB Jordan Hancock.
Hancock is also a player to watch in-state with the Bulldogs in the 2021 class, too.
The Carter-Hancock duo was felled by Tate Ratledge and his friend in the second round of that event. It was interesting to see Carter played with a digital Magic Johnson in the 2-on-2 “Blacktop” event. Hancock chose Giannas Antetokounmpo.
Ratledge played with the Miami Heat Lebron James and his good friend had Bill Russell. Those two wound up winning that tournament.
Carter also discussed his decision timeline.
“Right now it is before senior year but that can change at any point in time but I would just say before senior year,” he said. “It could be later or it could be earlier but my answer right now is before my senior season.”
Carter said he finished his “Junior Day” visit talking in Kirby Smart’s office along with his friends and family. Before that, there was a film breakdown session with another highly regarded in-state LB prospect and his potential position coach.
“It was me, Smael Mondon and coach [Glenn] Schumann in his office breaking down film and where they see us and stuff like that. Then we talked to coach [Dan] Lanning, too. We connected with them a lot.”
Carter said he met Mondon for the first time on that visit. The North Paulding 4-star rates on the composite scale as the nation’s No. 3 OLB and the No. 37 overall prospect for 2021.
If Georgia could pair those two up in the 2021 class, that would be an ideal restock at ILB. Current ILBs Channing Tindall and Quay Walker are set to exhaust their eligibility after the 2021 season, if not sooner than that. It depends on them having strong junior years.
Carter finished his 2019 season in the state semifinals for a North Gwinnett team which wound up 12-2. He had 49 solo tackles and 76 total stops. Those totals will also include nine sacks. He’s a nouveau LB prospect that does speed and agility training with DBs, rates as an OLB and yet his best fit might be at ILB.
That’s why he can cover tight end and slot receivers and look like an adept safety in doing so. He does not have the length to be the prototype edge defender at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, but that’s likely his only scouting limitation.
He has that “it’ factor. Carter can wear a signature pink mouthpiece on the field and make every play that comes his way while doing it.
If North Gwinnett would have beaten Lowndes in the semifinals this year, the thinking was that Carter was athletic enough to draw the assignment of covering Marietta 5-star WR/TE Arik Gilbert all night.
That’s why Carter can be a three-down LB on Saturdays. When asked to point to the player he takes the most from regarding his own game, Carter’s answer was Clemson All-American LB Isaiah Simmons.
He’s not at that level yet, but Carter can be that versatile multi-task defender that Simmons was featured at so effectively on the college level.
In terms of all that, the fit at UGA would not even as a traditional downhill gap-filler.
“They move the inside ‘backers around,” Carter said. “It is not just straight inside, but we would be moved around.”
That Clemson visit will have to be rescheduled, but he will also visit Auburn this weekend on another planned trip.