5-star DE Carter: Georgia’s defense ‘is going to be nasty’

NORCROSS | The buildup was extensive, but Lorenzo Carter’s announcement that he would sign with Georgia was quick and painless. 

The five-star defensive end entered the Norcross High School auditorium to a full house on Wednesday where he announced he planned to stay close to his home a little longer. 

“After thinking long and hard, praying about it (and) talking to my family, I’ll be spending the next four years of my life at the University of Georgia,” Carter said. 

The crowd erupted, as did members of the Bulldog nation. Georgia’s football program and fans have had an eventful offseason with changes to its defensive coaching staff. However, it was those changes which led the explosive pass rusher to Athens. 

“He (Mark Richt) did a great job and he got the hire with (defensive coordinator) Jeremy Pruitt,” Carter said. “That defense is going to be nasty, so I plan on being a big part of it.”

Pruitt’s hiring was big for the program, especially for future Bulldogs such as Carter. 

“That was huge,” Carter said. “If they probably hadn’t picked him (Pruitt) up, I’d probably end up at LSU right now.”

LSU was a close second choice for Carter, who said his ultimate decision wasn’t made until Wednesday morning. 

“It was so close. It was like 50/50, 51/49,” Carter said. “I had to just make the grown-man decision and live with it.”

Carter, a 6-foot-5, 232 pound pass rusher, had fans and even experts guessing for months. Carter himself was even unsure until he took his visit to Baton Rouge in January. However, his mind was close to made after that visit. 

“After my LSU visit (is) when I realized it was really going to be LSU and Georgia,” Carter said. 

While Georgia and LSU were Carter’s two finalists, their hats weren’t the only ones to line the table that sat upon the stage of Norcross’ auditorium. Carter also displayed a hat to honor the United States Military, which the defensive end couldn’t leave out. 

“I got the veterans hat here to represent all the veterans that serve this country, men and women all across the world, basically,” Carter said. “Without them we wouldn’t be here.”

The grateful Carter plans to expand his game at Georgia, and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker is the man he believes will help him do just that. Georgia’s hiring of Rocker played an intricate part in Carter’s decision as well. 

Rocker’s arrival prior to Carter’s final official visit was vital.

“I wanted to know my coach and who was going to coach me,” Carter said. “I didn’t want to go anywhere where it was a question mark, so when they let me know that, that was a big plus. Coach Rocker is a great man and I feel like he’s going to push me to be my best.”

In the end, Carter just felt comfortable with his decision to stay close to his home and his family. The titles are huge, but Carter would assume chase one at a school where his family can conveniently watch him play. 

“Listening to my sisters just talk to me about Georgia, representing the state, and just thinking about how big it would be if I brought home a national championship,” Carter listed as reasons why he chose Georgia.

Carter plans to stay close with his family as well as the community of Norcross. 

“Just proximity to home,” Carter said. “Knowing I’ll be able to come home anytime I want, really.”

Carter’s father, Leo, doesn’t mind his son staying close to home either. He’s an avid supporter of the community that raised his son.  

“Norcross, we love you,” Carter’s father said as his family left the stage. 

Needless to say, Carter has big plans for his future. 

“Don’t be surprised if we win a few big games,” Carter said. 

Near the end of his ceremony, Carter had a message for Bulldog fans whom recently faced a turbulent season filled with defensive struggles. He made it known there were big things in store for them in the near future. 

“I’m just excited,” Carter said. “I don’t know if y’all are excited, but I’m going to be home — I’m going to be representing Georgia.”

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