North Gwinnett junior LB Barrett Carter has narrowed his focus.
Carter, who should be seen as one of the priority targets for UGA in its 2021 class, released his top schools list on Wednesday night on social media.
The Bulldogs, as expected, made his top group. Along with a cadre of impressive programs.
— barrett carter (@bcsznn) February 12, 2020
“I would like to thank my Lord and savior for the continuous blessings he has bestowed upon me,” Carter said in the social media post.
As he states in the embedded tweet, those are the schools he will now be focusing on. There is a clear Southeastern appeal to his top group. Oklahoma and Ohio State are the only programs he has listed that would be seen as even nominally outside that geographic footprint.
There are five SEC schools on Carter’s list and another four programs from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
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: The things to know here
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.
Georgia did not sign an ILB prospect in its top-ranked recruiting class for 2020, so that places a greater emphasis on a true in-state priority like Carter.
What is the biggest pull for Carter to Georgia at this time?
“That’s the home team,” he said last month. “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.”
The home state appeal definitely appeals to Carter. That’s why Georgia Tech made the cut and continues to stay on his mind as a college destination along with the nine other programs on his top 11.
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.
Check out the DawgNation conversation with Carter from last season.