Norcross' Lorenzo Carter (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)
Football Super Six - Norcross' Lorenzo Carter
Norcross' Lorenzo Carter has been selected as one of the Daily Post's football Super Six.
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THE CARTER FILE
Name: Lorenzo Carter
Position: Defensive End
Weight: 240 pounds
College choice: LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Notre Dame, Oregon, Florida State
Place of birth: Evansville, Ind.
Role model: Mr. Jay Nebel
Favorite restaurant: Fogo de Chao
Favorite store: H & M
Favorite teacher: Mrs. Sarah Rust
Favorite subject: Physics
Text messages I send in a month: About a bigillion!!
Twitter handle: Lcarter_25
Life’s dream: "Having a family and a dog named Turbo"
Info file: Transferred to Norcross in 2012 after leading Whitefield Academy to the Class A basketball state championship. Quickly became one of the state’s top players last season when he recorded 17 sacks and helped Norcross to the Class AAAAAA state championship. ESPN ranks him as the state’s No. 1 college prospect and No. 11 in the country overall.
Coach Keith Maloof's take: "No matter what he’s done outside (with recruiting), when the kid walks on the field, he’s full go. He’s a joy to coach."
Editor's Note: This is the fifth of the GDP football Super Six. The final selection will run in Wednesday's print edition's of the newspaper.
At 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, it’s hard imagine Norcross football player Lorenzo Carter getting picked on, let alone by girls.
But for the state’s No. 1 rated college recruit, Carter spent most of his childhood getting hassled by his two older sisters London and Larisa.
“I credit my toughness to my sisters. They used to beat me up all the time,” Carter said. “They double-teamed me and tortured me. They put make-up on me. But now, I can get back at them.”
Carter is no longer the weak little brother they can pick on. He’s developed into one of the nation’s top college football recruits.
“Now they come home and try to mess with me and I lock them up,” Carter joked.
All of that teasing has helped transform Carter into being a menacing force on the football field. In his first year with the Norcross football program, the defensive end recorded 17 sacks and helped lead the Blue Devils to the Class AAAAAA state championship.
“I just want to outdo myself from last year. I want to break my sack record and go for 20 this year,” Carter said.
Just a year ago, Carter wasn’t that passionate about football. His true love was basketball. He attended Whitfield Academy his first two years of high school and helped the basketball team to the Class A state title in 2012. He transferred to Norcross that summer.
“Whitfield is a basketball school. It was really tough, I wanted to stay and repeat with my friends,” Carter said. “I knew I had to make the best decision for me. I wanted to go to a school that was basketball and football. Norcross is the best thing.”
It didn’t take him long to adjust to Class AAAAAA football. He posted nine tackles, three for loss, one sack and one batted pass in the season opener. He followed with a pair of sacks the next two games. By the midway point in the year, he had 11 sacks and finished with 17, which is the third-most in county history.
“I knew I had to come somewhere I could play big-man football,” Carter said. “I’m so glad I made this move, especially to Norcross.”
Carter began the football season as a highly-touted basketball recruit. By the time the season finished, which included a state finals win over Lovejoy, Carter had football scholarship offers from every major program in the country.
“After this football season, I think that’s when I realized it,” Carter said. “I’m a dime a dozen in basketball. I’m an undersized power forward. I can go further in football.”
As Carter enters his senior season, it’s been a lot more hectic summer. He continuously gets calls, texts and emails from college coaches, media and recruiting services. It all comes with the territory of being the state’s No. 1-rated player and the No. 11 overall player in the country.
“For him and his family, it’s fun but it’s frustrating at times,” Norcross head coach Keith Maloof said. “You feel like there’s a lot more added on to you than just coming to play ball. They’ve managed it really well. No matter what he’s done outside, when the kid walks on the field, he’s full go. He’s a joy to coach.”
Carter has narrowed his college choices down to Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Oregon, LSU and FSU. He plans to make a decision on National Signing Day.
“I am often asked nationally to compare Lorenzo with other DE’s like (Jadeveon) Clowney and (Robert) Nkemdichie,” U.S. Army All-American Bowl National Recruiting Director Erik Richards said. “Understand Lorenzo is a true weakside defensive, unlike those two. His flexibility is unmatched anywhere across the country for a player his size. (His) upside is huge”
Carter is in no rush to make a decision and is following in the footsteps of former teammate Alvin Kamara, who was a highly recruited running back last year.
“If I find a school I’m in love with and my parents are on board, then I’ll commit,” Carter said. “Just take your time, don’t let anybody pressure you. I know I have to spend my time there. It’s the rest of my life really. I know it’s not just a four-year decision. I just have to take my time and pray about it.”
Being a highly touted player also has its perks. Carter was able to participate in two national elite football camps — The Rivals Five-Star Challenge in Chicago and the The Opening at Nike headquarters in Oregon.
“The Opening was the best experience a high school football player can have other to win a state championship,” said Carter, who will play in the Under Armour All-American game. “There’s so much you can learn from it. There’s NFL players like Ndamukong Suh, coaching the D-line. I just soaked up the experience. It’s amazing.”
From those elite level camps, Carter feels like he’s elevated his play. That’s not a good sign for opposing quarterbacks.
“I’m just a completely different player than last year,” Carter said. “Early on last year, I was fresh to 6A football. Now I’m more experienced, I’ve been going to all of these camps against the top 4-star and 5-star offensive linemen. I’ve really taken advantage of that.”
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