Antwaine Carter Jr., the class of 2014 safety/athlete who recently committed to the University of Maryland, was a relative unknown to most Terps fans before today. The big splash at safety for this recruiting period was supposed to be Jordan Noil (Norcross, GA), but then he backed off his commitment on Saturday. As quickly as Noil left Maryland, though, the staff pounced on local talent Carter.
By Sunday, Antwaine Carter Jr. was a Terp.
“They offered me Saturday morning, and Coach Locksley contacted my dad Friday night,” Carter Jr. told me Monday evening during our phone call together.
Losing Noil was certainly unexpected, and probably disappointing, for most, as it was the third player from Norcross, Georgia to decommit from Maryland in recent years. But Carter Jr., is far from a slouch on the football field, where he plays at Westlake High School in Waldorf, Md. In fact, it may actually be even better for the Terps in the long run.
Carter Jr., is a star at his Westlake High School, there’s no way around that. While he may not have the stars attached to his name that other big named recruits do, don’t mistake Antwaine with an average player. He’s probably one of the more versatile recruits Maryland has brought in.
A quarterback, running back, corner, and free safety for Westlake’s football team, Carter Jr., did it all on the football field and the stats back it up: 82 solo tackles, 2 interceptions, 8 pass deflections, 10 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns. Antwaine was all over the field his senior year and played a big role on the team going 6-5 overall before falling to Huntington High 12-6 in the first round of the playoffs.
Oh, and he used to play basketball for Westlake as well (“I think it helps out because it shows how athletic I am,” according to Antwaine).
And despite the fact that he can clearly thrive on offense, Antwaine Carter still enjoys defense. When I asked him his favorite position?
Carter Jr.’s favorite NFL players?
“For corner I look at Richard Sherman or Deion Sanders. For safety I look at like Earl Thomas and…Eric Berry.”
When you look at his highlight reels, you get the idea that Carter Jr., does have a bit of Richard Sherman’s mentality to him; he loves to hit, but he likes breaking up passes just as much.
“I say I’m balanced, because I like to do both,” Carter Jr., said when I asked him whether he preferred hitting or ball hawking.
“I think I can help out with deep passes, stop giving them deep passes. I can help come downhill and help more with tackling.”
Carter Jr. seems ready to show how talented he can be straight away, but his most likeable attribute for fans and coaches will probably be his clear commitment to the team and excitement to play for the university of his home state. Already familiar with the Jacobs brothers (Taivon and Levern) on the team, his favorite player for the Terrapins?
“Stefon Diggs,” Carter Jr. chuckled.
He’s all in for the Terps, and fits right in with the team-oriented players Randy Edsall has gone after. “I’m just here and glad to be a part of the Terps family,” Carter Jr. told me when I asked him what he could contribute. Again and again, Antwaine was quick to mention the team and family aspect of football.
Carter’s not settling down though now that he’s got his college football team locked up. This summer he wants to work on his football game (“I want to work on my hips more,”) but he’s also excited to join up with the Terps.
“I want to get on campus and build a great bond with the team,” Antwaine said on summer workouts for the Terps.
And in case you were wondering, Carter Jr. is definitely far from intimidated by the Maryland Terrapins moving to the Big Ten.
“I think that’s a big move,” Carter said. “That’s a great move, too. You’ve got big teams in there like Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan state, and Wisconsin to go against. And we get to explore our talent against some of the upper teams…We can compete for national championships.”
Antwaine Carter Jr. may not be the biggest named recruit, but it seems glaringly apparent that should he continue his hard work, he’ll be a boon for the Terps in the future. Best thing about talking to Antwaine? His parting words with me:
(For Carter’s highlights, check them out here. We’d like to thank Antwaine for talking with TSMD and welcome him into the Terps family! Follow him on Twitter @DaNameIs_Twaine)