Going into the season opener, Ja’Had Carter has a lot of respect for Ohio and will not take them lightly. His immediate impact as a freshman has led to the expectation of him doing it again this season. While this is his second season at Syracuse, Carter remains a freshman due to an extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA in response to the covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s crazy. I feel like it was good for me and other freshmen who played because we got our feet wet,” Carter said. “It didn’t really count but it was still on TV, so it still did.”
For freshmen last season, one benefit of playing a season in the pandemic is that it did not count towards their eligibility. Carter is a freshman all over again intending to get more than his feet wet this season.
The hard hitting tackling machine finished second on the team with 67 tackles last season. This offseason, Carter focused on getting better in coverage by smoothening up his back pedal and fine tuning the basics at the position. After a year of playing, Carter has noticed the game has slowed down a lot however he places an emphasis on patience.
“I just have to stay patient and read my keys," Carter said.
The Ohio offense relies heavily on their rushing attack and Carter is looking forward to getting involved in the action. However, he will not let his obsession with being physical deter him from doing his job.
“I want to catch a pick,” Carter said. “And get one percent better each day this season.”
The approach of the once again freshman will play a pivotal role in winning games this season. The Orange kick off on the road against Ohio at 7p.m. on Saturday, September 4, 2021.