Freshman Carter Off to Strong Start

A report on a promising Auburn football freshman is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Through the early parts of preseason practice, true freshman defensive Antoine Carter has been a demon for offensive tackles in pass rushing drills because of his quickness off the corner.

In Auburn's 100-plus play scrimmage at the stadium on Saturday he showed that he can also get around the edge to the quarterback in 11 on 11.

Every quarterback except Brandon Cox was fair game for the defense to hit, and Carter buried Steven Ensminger into the turf twice for sacks.

"Right now the best thing he does is come off the edge and rush the passer," says position coach Terry Price. "He's shown some ability to do that, and that's good to see from a true freshman.

"Obviously there are a lot of things he needs to work on, but he's shown that he enjoys doing that. He gives good effort. He's not a guy that's lazy and takes plays off. From what we've seen so far he really works hard."

Carter checks in at 6-4, 240 pounds, which is a bit lighter than some of Auburn's other ends like Sen'Derrick Marks, Quentin Groves and Antonio Coleman, so quickness off the corner isn't an issue. When it comes to stopping the run, Carter says he'd like to get up to 255 or 260.

"I really don't let that get to me," he says of his weight. "I still play hard and physical. I'm good with my speed and I've got long arms so I'm good with separation."

Coming out of football prospect factory Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Carter has shown to have good football sense and is a quick learner.

Several other true freshmen like quarterback Kodi Burns, offensive tackle Lee Ziemba, center Ryan Pugh, linebacker Bo Harris and kicker Wes Byrum have shown through the first week-plus of practice that they may be ready to step in and contribute immediately. Carter is on the list of possible contributors in 2007, but it's too early to tell if he'll play or redshirt.

"I'm not really sure," he explains. "I wanted to redshirt so I can get stronger, but I'll have to have a talk with my coaches about that. I need to thank some of the seniors for helping me out during the summer workouts and giving me information that's going to help me out. I got in late, but I really got caught up with the rest of the team in the workouts. The installation of the plays is really catching up."

If Carter's production continues to increase and he can also be an asset against the run, then the Dillard High product could break into the rotation.

"It's too early right now," Price notes, "but the good thing is that he's shown the ability to play hard and learn the system. We'll know after a couple more scrimmages."

Groves and Marks also had kind words to share about Carter following the first scrimmage. Click here to read more.

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories