New And Improved Carter Ready For 08

Sophomore defensive end Antoine Carter talks about his progression in his second year with the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--One of Auburn's most valuable true freshman last season was a surprise on the defensive side of the ball in defensive end Antoine Carter. Undersized, Carter used his speed and aggressiveness off the corner to become a valuable player for the Tigers down the stretch. Now a year older, stronger, and wiser, Carter said so far things have gone well heading into his second season on the Plains.

"It's going good," Carter said. "We're preparing for our first game. We're still in camp and have a scrimmage on Saturday so we're still installing our defense. We're going over our technique and making sure we're aligned right."

Up 30 pounds from his playing weight from last season, now at 254 pounds, the still 18-year old Carter has been dynamic in pass rush situations during the preseason and will likely be a big part of third down defense for the Tigers. He said that's fine by him because he knows more will be asked of him in 2008.

"It's not really different from last season," Carter said. "It's just a lot more is expected of me this year. That's all. I have gotten a lot stronger and put more weight on. It's more muscle and less fat."

With added strength and the same quickness he displayed last season, Carter has been working at both defensive end positions during the preseason. Because of his added size he said he's now able to hold down his end of the line much better than he did a year ago.

"It has helped me a lot," Carter said. "I'm able to play the run better. I'm able to hold my gap. I'm not getting thrown around anymore like a little rag doll.

"I know both positions and I've worked some on the strong side," he added. "It's pretty exciting knowing I might be on the field with A.C. (Antonio Coleman). That's a pretty good feeling having him out there with me."

Very young last season when he got to Auburn, Carter immediately won the favor of guys like Quentin Groves and Coleman because of his work ethic and attitude on the field. Carter said that's something that helped him a year ago and is still something he leans on every day.

"When I first came here I was looking up to Q," Carter said. "Then Q left. I still talk to him every now and then. They've got a game this Saturday and I talked with him and he asked how I was doing. He's checking up on me and A.C. Now that Q left I kind of look up to him and Sen'Derrick because they have been there and they know what's going on down on the field. If I don't know something I can ask them for help."

With Auburn picked by many to win the SEC Western Division and play for the SEC title, there could be pressure on the Tigers in 2008. Not concerned with any of that, Carter said he's just ready to show what he and the defense can do under new coordinator Paul Rhoads.

"I'm very excited for that first game to get out there and just show how hard work pays off."

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