FIVE QUESTIONS WITH LB REGGIE CARTER
ATHENS – Reggie Carter is not one to wax eloquent and go on and on about anything. But he doesn’t need to. He tends to get right to the point.
Like when he was asked about the Bulldogs losing to Vanderbilt last Saturday and not having the opportunity to play again this weekend.
“It sucks,” the junior linebacker said succinctly. “But like Coach Smart said, ‘so what now?’ We can only look forward to the future.”
Unfortunately for Carter and the Bulldogs, the future’s kind of murky, too. That’s especially true with the inside linebacker position Carter shares with several other players. Two of them have found themselves in disciplinary purgatory, and nobody is quite sure what’s going to happen as a result.
Sophomore linebackers Roquan Smith and Natrez Patrick were suspected of using marijuana when police were called to Patrick’s dorm room last Saturday. Neither player was charged because a search of the room did not produce any marijuana. However, marijuana contraband was confiscated and the UGA athletic association, which has an anti-marijuana-use policy, was informed.
Coach Kirby Smart said he’s “waiting to get more information” before deciding how to discipline the two linebackers. Meanwhile, Patrick and Smith are the Bulldogs’ two leading tacklers and form part of a three-man rotation with Carter at the two inside linebacker positions.
Carter said he has no idea what is going to happen, but that other players are always prepared to step up at every position.
“I’m not even thinking about that right now,” he said. “Right now, I’m just focusing on getting better individually and as a team. … This week is a perfect week to take advantage of it. It’s a bye week and we’re focusing on ourselves. How we can get better, how we can get better as a team and individually?”
No matter what happens, Carter will continue to play a major role. He has started five of the six games in which he’s played this season (he missed South Carolina with a concussion) and has 17 tackles in those games. He’s a member of the team’s leadership council and will be graduating from the Terry College of Business after this semester.
Here’s Carter’s views on a few other subjects:
Q: What did you think of the move of Tae Crowder from tailback to linebacker?
Carter: “When I saw him today in the linebacker room I was kind of shocked. … But you take him under your wings and you groom him. Tae’s one of those people that likes to get better. He wants to do anything he can do to help the team. … He’s 230, 235 (pounds). Tae’s a real big guy.”
Q: You guys are 4-3 now and coming off a rare loss to Vanderbilt. Fans are freaking out a little and starting to doubt the new coaching staff. What do you tell them?
Carter: “Vanderbilt is a good team. I have 100 percent faith in the coaching staff and in my teammates. So, that doesn’t bother me. I trust my coaching staff and my teammates.”
Q: Last time you were available for interviews you abruptly left. We were told you were sick and then later that you had a concussion. Is that what it was?
Carter: “That was because of y’all and the bright lights, everybody asking questions [laughs]. I don’t know what happened. I’m just glad I’m over it. That’s in the past.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the bye week?
Carter: “It gives everybody time to work on themselves and not really prepare for another team but to go back to basics and fundamentals so we can get better.”
Q: What are your plans since you won’t be playing a game Saturday?
Carter: “Definitely going to order some Papa John’s pizza and wings and just watch football all Saturday.”