In addition to running back Aaron McDaniel, who has Auburn high on his list, versatile athlete Marcus Carter is one of the many prospects favoring the Tigers as he heads into the summer before his senior season.
A 6-1, 190 running back/defensive back with 4.46 speed in the 40-yard dash, Carter will be a three-year starter for Fort Payne next season. Excelling at both running back and strong safety, he rushed for 710 yards on 105 carries last season with seven touchdowns and added 75 tackles with two interceptions on defense with one touchdown. In addition to those duties, he also returned both punts and kickoffs last season and had a touchdown in each specialty, with the punt going for 76 yards.
A self-proclaimed Auburn fan growing up, Carter says that the Tigers are a strong leader for his services at the moment. While he's looking at Alabama, Georgia and Florida in addition to Auburn, it appears that this race is already all but over for Carter's services.
"I like their coaches a lot," Carter tells Inside The Auburn Tigers of why Auburn is his leader. "I've been there on things like the junior recruiting day and I've talked with them a good bit. I know them a lot better than the other coaches in the SEC and their facilities and the weight room are real nice. I just like Auburn a whole lot and the program continues to get better.
"Auburn is my favorite. I like Alabama, too, but Auburn is way ahead of Alabama. My top four schools are Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. I'm hearing from Tennessee, Nebraska and Mississippi State as well."
Despite his size and the fact that he plays strong safety in high school, several schools are recruiting Carter, including Auburn, as a cornerback. With Auburn looking for help at the position in 2004 and the possibility of losing junior Carlos Rogers early after next season, the Tigers are hoping that Carter fills an early need in the Class of 2004.
"Auburn and Alabama are both looking at me as a cornerback and I think everyone wants me on defense," he says.
Planning on attending mini-camps at both Auburn and Alabama over the summer, Carter is hoping to receive an invitation to the Nike Combine that will be held on the Auburn campus May 18. If that doesn't happen Carter says he has plenty of things to keep him busy before his team begins practicing for his senior season next fall.
"I need to improve my quickness and my footspeed," Carter notes. "I need to get stronger as well. I'm benching 280 and my squat is 435."
If things work out as planned, Auburn could wind up getting a double play from Fort Payne next season with Carter and McDaniel coming to the Plains. It is something that Carter says they have talked about as recently as last week and he hopes their dreams come true next February.
"He likes Auburn, too," Carter says of the 6-1, 170 McDaniel. "I think Alabama is looking at him as a wide receiver and Auburn likes him as a cornerback, but I'm not real sure though. We were talking about playing together the other day. That would be fun."