Barrett Carter Feels Needed at Georgia

Blayne Gilmer

Barrett Carter moved to Suwanee, Georgia from the Chicago, Illinois area when he was 7 years old. Since that time, Carter has been a Bulldog through and through. Of course, I'm talking about a North Gwinnett Bulldog. 

Barrett has grown up in the feeder system of the perennial power in Georgia High School Football and throughout his three years playing at NGHS, he's contributed heavily to the winning tradition.

Early on in high school, Barrett considered himself a good receiver for the Bulldogs of North Gwinnett. However, going into spring practice of his sophomore year, the coaching staff approached Carter and informed him of their plans for him to play linebacker. 

Carter remembered the time of transition well and said, "I really couldn't believe it at the time. I truly wasn't a fan of it, to be honest, but I'm actually so glad I switched to defense. It has worked out for me and it's opened many doors for me." 

Many doors is an understatement as the 6'1" linebacker, who now weighs in at 220 pounds, is a top-five linebacker in the country in the class of 2021 and has been offered by close to 60 Power-5 programs.

Carter dropped his top 11 schools on February 12th and another set of Bulldogs, the Georgia Bulldogs, made the cut. When asked how he arrived at these 11 particular schools, Carter explained, "It really just came down to 11 because I had the best relationship with those schools. If I had felt the best about 8, it would have been 8. It could have been 2. It just happened to be 11 that I feel could end up being the best school for me."

However, despite feeling comfortable with all 11, there is a group of schools that Barrett divulged that has been recruiting him a little harder and more relentlessly than others. Georgia finds itself squarely in that group.

"I talk to Coach Schumann, Coach Lanning, and Coach Smart all the time. Especially with Schumann and Lanning. We talk countless times throughout the week, and then I'll get to talk to Kirby every once in a while. We've built such a good relationship. They offered me back in June or July. Ever since then, ever since coaches have been able to talk to me legally, they've just been in non-stop communication." - Barrett Carter on communication and relationship with UGA

Kirby Smart personally offered Barrett Carter before a 7 on 7 game last summer. This was a surreal moment for Carter because, as the Suwanee native described it, "He (Kirby Smart) is like a celebrity to me honestly. He and Coach Schumann just came up to me between games and told me they would like to offer me. It was great." Carter also described what his most recent visit to Athens was like and what the time that he, his family, and his girlfriend got to spend with Coach Smart meant to him.

"The last visit, we barely even talked about football. I went into his office with my family and my girlfriend at the end of the visit, and it was really just stuff about being a man. There was very little about football and that speaks volumes, especially to me, but also to my parents. He's definitely more than football. That is huge for a head coach! The fact that I know him personally is just still a little surreal." - Barrett Carter on Kirby Smart

Dan Lanning has become someone that Carter is quite comfortable with as well. "He is just a very good person. He's always cracking jokes with me and I know I can talk to him about anything," Carter mentioned when describing his talks with Georgia's Defensive Coordinator. 

Carter indicated that Georgia, and especially Lanning, has made it very clear that he is a priority for them. Barrett explained, "I'm needed there and that is good to hear and it makes you think a little bit. They didn't sign any, well they signed 1 outside, but they want me inside they didn't sign any inside linebackers. So, like that's always good to hear from like a depth standpoint. I don't want to go in and just sit for like 2 - 3 years so that's good to hear for sure."

Carter can fit excellently into the system of Smart and Lanning. The Dawgs, looking at him as an inside linebacker, can utilize his incredible versatility. He has 4.5 speed and can chase the ball from sideline to sideline in Roquan Smith like fashion. Also, the Peach State product can stay step-for-step in coverage with talented wide receivers that North Gwinnett plays against in Georgia's highest classification of football.

Barrett actually mentioned that he likes to model his game after Isaiah Simmons of Clemson who will likely be the first "linebacker" taken in the NFL Draft this year due to his versatility and athleticism. Also, Carter mentioned that current Dawg inside linebacker Nakobe Dean has talked to him about how great the Georgia staff is about using their linebackers creatively in their scheme.

Needless to say, Georgia will continue to stay in hot pursuit of Barrett Carter, but so will Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson and the rest of the top 11. When asked about what he does to get away from all the craziness that comes with recruiting at times, Barrett shared, "Oh, I'm a big gamer! I play video games a lot. But, besides that, I hang out with my girlfriend too. She helps me get away from all the recruiting business. I can just have fun with her, whether we're going to a movie or six flags, and hang out with friends. Also, just spend time with my family."

Carter mentioned spending time with his girlfriend, she is also a rising senior and would like to attend UGA and comes from a family of "die-hard Georgia fans". 

In terms of life after football, Carter expressed interest in running his own business and being part of the sports broadcasting industry. His dream is to open up a multi-sport complex that families and youth sports can utilize. Georgia should be well aligned with those goals with the Terry School of Business and also the track record the university has of producing major sports broadcasting personalities, including current ESPN on air-talents like David Pollack and Maria Taylor.

Carter admits he does love the colors red and black, coming from North Gwinnett, and Dawg faithful can rest assured that, based on the efforts described by Carter of the UGA coaching staff, they're doing everything possible to try and make sure he stays a 'Bulldog'.

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