Carter was a regular at the nightly workouts at Leon High School, combining weight training with speed work. Carter was off to a great start for the Seminoles this preseason, nudging his way into the starter's role.
One play changed Carter's season.
Carter suffered a torn ACL in Wednesday's scrimmage and is lost for the season.
Carter was injured when tackled following a pass reception in the flats. The injury didn't appear serious as Carter walked off the field under his own power. However, he was carted into the locker room following the scrimmage.
The news was extremely disappointing to the Seminoles, especially for fellow tight end Matt Henshaw. Carter's injury leaves FSU with three tight ends -- Henshaw, Paul Irons and Matt Root, who is currently playing with a cast on his right hand after suffering a broken finger in practice recently.
"He's a guy who is a helluva player and he's a great friend -- we talk every day," Henshaw said.
"That hurts even more. The play didn't even look that bad, even on film it didn't look that bad. But, hey, the next thing you know he tore his ACL and he's out for the year. It's heart-breaking really."
Henshaw said the Seminoles must fill the void left by Carter. FSU tight ends are expected to have an expanded roll in the Seminoles' offense this season.
"When you lose a great player like Donnie, that puts more pressure and more responsibility on us to get out there and get the job done," Henshaw said.
FSU tight ends coach John Lilly also was disappointed by the news but remains confident in his returning players.
"We do feel real confident abut the three guys we have," Lilly said. "We can stil do the things we want to do at that position."