About a half hour after prized Norcross defensive end Lorenzo Carter announced he was coming to Georgia, coach Mark Richt popped out of the football offices to talk about the final signee of the day.
‚ÄúYou know, it was exciting,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúI know our hallway, a lot of screeching and screaming. I assumed it was Lorenzo was saying yes. I was just sitting in my office. I really wasn‚Äôt interested in watching the whole thing. I didn‚Äôt know what he was going to do until he did it so that was good.‚Äù
Here‚Äôs a Q&A with Richt on Carter with reporters:
Q: Did you have an inkling?
A: I was just hopeful. I really didn‚Äôt know. When I don‚Äôt know, I don‚Äôt like to watch it, but I heard the screaming so I figured it was good news.
Q: Is he similar as an edge rusher to Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd?
A: His body type is more like Leonard Floyd. He‚Äôs long, he‚Äôs tall, very long arms. He‚Äôs not nearly as thick as Jordan. Jordan is a thicker guy. He‚Äôs definitely got a lot of speed off the edge. He‚Äôs a great kid, great student, just a great person. Their family is unbelievable. He‚Äôs the kind of guy that could end up being a captain for you one day. I would expect him to be a leader in his class, but it won‚Äôt be long before he takes on some leadership role on the team within the next couple of years.‚Äù
Q: Did you have to redo a lot of things with the defensive staff took over with him?
A: I think he was excited about Jeremy (Pruitt) coming in and was kind of wondering who his position coach was going to be. When (Tracy) Rocker was able to help him understand that‚Äôs kind of what Rocks been doing. He coaches four down linemen. Like I was trying to explain earlier, the way we run our 3-4 is identical to how people run their 4-3. Other than our end man to the line to the weakside is in an up position and a lot of other people just put his hand in the ground and go. The other thing he realized is when people go to a three-receiver set, a four-receiver set, which is mostly what we see now, we‚Äôre in what we call nickel and once we‚Äôre in our nickel look, usually we have four down linemen. Those guys that were outside linebackers are a lot of times on the line of scrimmage rushing and a lot of things we‚Äôll do if he‚Äôs more comfortable rushing with his hand on the ground, we‚Äôll do that. If he‚Äôs more comfortable rushing staying in a two-point stand. It‚Äôs like Jarvis (Jones) liked to be in a two-point stand. Jeremy, this is Jeremy now, he kind of wants them to be in the position they like the most that they‚Äôre the most comfortable in. There are sometimes when you play zone read teams where you‚Äôve got to read that quarterback exchange and you‚Äôre trying to be in position to see what you‚Äôre doing, we‚Äôll probably be more up in a game like that. There are certain games where you‚Äôll play a prototypical pocket passer, you‚Äôll probably put your hand on the ground.‚Äù
Q: On how Bryan McClendon recruited Carter and others?
A: Oh, yeah, he was tremendous. He did a great job. Everybody works hard at it but he certainly had a stellar performance.
Q: So would you call Carter a defensive end or outside linebacker?
A: It‚Äôs a slash really. Because even when (David) Pollack was here, he was a defensive end the way we termed but if we brought a certain blitz, like fire zones people talk about. You bring a sam and mike linebacker strong and Pollack‚Äôs on the backside, he‚Äôd drop into coverage but he‚Äôd drop from his hand on the ground. Now, Lorenzo or a guy like that or what Jarvis was doing, he‚Äôd be in the up stance and drop or rush. That position even when (Todd) Grantham was here, it was about a 90 percent rush guy. The will was a rusher. He would drop on occasion.‚Äù