JACKSON, Ga. — Close your eyes. Listen to Michail Carter speak. Forget he’s a 4-star defensive tackle who will choose between UGA, Alabama, Clemson and Georgia Tech.
The Under Armour All-American sounds like a young man who’d still have a bright future if he wasn’t able to dunk a basketball despite tipping the scales at 309 pounds.
“I want to major in sports medicine and I want to have a minor in personal finance so if I was blessed enough to play in the NFL then I’d be able to manage my own money and not have to count on anyone else to do that for me,” said Carter, who has a goal to work on an NFL training staff or own his own business when he’s 35 years old.
Carter sounds like a young man who takes AP classes with a 3.6 grade-point average, right? The 6-foot-4 senior also sounds like he has Alabama at the very top of his list.
Alabama coach Nick Saban visited him on Tuesday. That’s the school he will visit during the middle of the last week of January. He took his official visit to Clemson last weekend. He’ll take another official to Georgia Tech this weekend and head to UGA on Jan. 29.
Check out the positives that he discussed for each of his top four schools below. Why the list method? Carter said that’s how he analyzes his top schools as he breaks down his looming decision. He also analyzes each program in the video interview above.
- Feels Alabama is recruiting him the hardest
- Sounds like he knows the players who are going to Alabama better than the recruits at any other school
- Said the game-day atmosphere at Alabama ranks as the best he’s seen
- Defensive line coach Bo Davis is one of the two coaches recruiting him that he feels the closest to
- The chance to play early is greatest at Alabama of all places and that’s the big reason why he’d roll with the Tide
- Ties with coach Dabo Swinney, assistant Dan Brooks and co-defensive coordinator Marion Hobby seem important to him
- Feels his second-best chance to play right away is with the Tigers
- The defensive line verbiage at this school is similar to how he’s been trained by his high school coaches; knowing that terminology is the biggest reason why he’d choose Clemson
- On Clemson: “When they say they are different from everyone else and the way they treat their players it is really true. I love it there.”
- His recent official visit moved the Tigers up considerably
- Carter rated this as his strongest academic option for his degree
- Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker ranks alongside Alabama’s Bo Davis as the closest relationship he has with any recruiter
- On Rocker: “He’s a genuine person. He really cares about you. I like the way he coaches. He’s very aggressive and demanding. I really like that. … He reminds me of my Dad so much with what he demands out of a player. He teaches them how to be men.”
- He said UGA and Georgia Tech are recruiting him the hardest after Alabama
- Transition from Mark Richt to Kirby Smart did not make much of difference to him
- UGA was his first offer and that does matter to him
- If he chose UGA, the reason would be to play for his home state and the team he loved growing up
- Likes the mixture of the academic institution with a good football team
- Has a great relationship with assistants Mike Pelton and Joe Speed
- Knows he’ll have a job opportunity off the bat after he graduates
- Carter said UGA and Georgia Tech are recruiting him the hardest after Alabama
Carter is rated as the nation’s No. 15 DT and No. 119 player overall for 2016. He will make his decision on National Signing Day.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers SEC football recruiting for SECcountry.com, DawgNation.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to the SEC.