One of the biggest pieces of Clemson's 2021 recruiting class might just be Barrett Carter.
Ranked No. 38 in the SI99, the 6-foot-1, 220 pound prospect out of Georgia is not just considered one of the best players in the country, he's also thought to be one of the most versatile in the entire class.
Carter was listed as a linebacker by the recruiting services, but Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says the Tigers have big plans for the freshman and they go beyond him playing just one position on the defensive side of the ball.
"We're gonna use him in a versatile way," Swinney said. "He's not a guy you can kind of put in a box there. He absolutely can play linebacker, no question about that but we think he can play either safety, we think he could play Nickel/SAM, I mean he's as dynamic a guy as we've signed."
Carter, the All-American Bowl's Defensive Player of the Year, did a little bit of everything at North Gwinnett High School. During his senior season he finished the year with 38 tackles, 11 TFL, and five sacks. He also added 429 rushing yards and averaging over 9 YPC, and he did all that in just seven games.
"If you just watch him and what he's done offensively as well, I mean he's fast," Swinney said. "He's got the size and the physicality to play in the box but he's got the speed and coverage ability, and range to play on the backend. He's just a guy that I think you can list him whatever you want to call him, but I don't think he's any of those things individually. I think collectively, he's a football player."
The coaches think they have found a guy in Carter that can play on any down and in any situation. With today's game becoming more geared towards the high powered, explosive offenses, having a player with his abilities can be invaluable.
Swinney says Carter's versatility reminds him of Isaiah Simmons and like they did with Simmons, they will figure out the things Carter does best as they move along.
He's a guy that in today's world of offensive football and people spread people out, he's a guy that can play any down," Swinney said. "He can play in any package against any personnel that an offense puts on the field. He's physical enough to hold up against any 12 personnel type of attack. He's fast enough and athletic and range enough to play against a 10 personnel team, truly nothing he can't do. He's one of those guys we'll figure out, like an Isaiah Simmons. We'll figure him out as we go but you'll see him do a lot of different things throughout his career."