6-foot-0 / 220 pounds
Eight Mile (AL) / St. Paul’s Episcopal
Carmichael avoided redshirting in 2014 as a true freshman and made the coaches look wise with that decision by posting 20 stops and two interceptions as a safety. He was on the field for nearly 280 plays throughout the season and developed the reputation as a ball hawk in the Duke backfield.
With the losses at linebacker due to graduation and injury, Carmichael was asked to move to linebacker during the offseason. He was scheduled to play behind Kelby Brown for a year before taking over the gig next season armed with a year of Brown’s mentorship and on the job training. Instead, Brown tore his ACL and Carmichael was thrust into the starting role where he’ll still get counsel and coaching from Brown, but without the year’s apprenticeship.
It’s a steep learning curve, but Carmichael has the benefit of help from Brown and the coaching staff. In addition he’s got a set of skills that have been championed by head coach David Cutcliffe during his tenure. Cutcliffe told the media that this is the most athletic group of linebackers he’s ever had at Duke. It starts with Carmichael who has the speed and reaction ability to cover a lot of ground and provide help in support of the run and when dropping into coverage if needed. Assuming he can apply what he’s learning from Brown and the rest of the defense, Carmichael could be considered the best “boom or bust” player in the starting lineup.
How he ended up in Durham
Carmichael committed to Duke way back in June of 2012 - as the first pledge in the class of 2013 - over offers from UAB and South Alabama. He also continued to hear from schools such as Auburn and Stanford.
High School Highlights
Four-year letterman at St. Paul’s under Steve Mask…helped team to four-year record of 42-10 with four state playoff appearances ... as a senior, posted 103 tackles with two sacks and two fumble recoveries ... logged 76 tackles, four interceptions and four fumble recoveries in junior season [info from this last section gathered from GoDuke.com]
FB Forecast: LB Zavier Carmichael
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