Many prospects are under the radar because of an injury or where they are located, and others take time to turn heads because of their high school. The latter was the case for Rochester (N.Y.) Brighton ATH Devan Carter, at least until now.
Come February, he will officially become Brighton's first FBS-level player when he signs his letter of intent. As for which school he will be attending, Syracuse University got the jump on him and was rewarded by his pledge on Sunday after shining at the team's rising seniors camp in Buffalo.
Though Carter had a stellar junior season as a runner, SU offered him as a projected linebacker, something Brighton Head Coach Stephen Lian understands.
"He's a very quick learner, it's not going to take him long to adapt to linebacker," he said. "He's going to be a full-time linebacker this year, he played many positions last season. He loves the physicallity of it.
"His ability to see the hole (as a RB) sets him apart, now he just has to do it from the other side."
Carter, who is currently 6-foot-2 and about 210 pounds after cutting weight for track season, can "easily" fill out back to 220 pounds once football is the sole focus. But what was witnessed by the SU staff at the camp, is an untapped potential on defense even though he flashed it in 2011 in a limited role.
"With Devan, you see this raw athlete that you can mold," said Lian. "That's what Syracuse is going to have to do.
"He's got coverage skills, he's got some edge-rushing skills."
But above all, physically, Carter's athleticism and size combo is what separates him from the pack.
"Devan's moevment skills are very rare for a person his size," added the coach. "As far as football goes, he really is relatively new to the game. He didn't start playing until middle school.
"He's going to be a big kid, even though you see a baby face. He may grow out of the (RB) position, but not at linebacker."
As for his school of choice, the Orange got in early on Carter and it was the program's prospect to lose from the beginning.
"They came in very early int he process, Syracuse and Buffalo were the first one's in," said Lian. "Right away, he took in a game and had Syracuse as number one.
"The whole time, Syracuse had a lot of positives and it was going to be difficult to overcome."
In particular, what SU offered to the local prospect was too much to pass up.
"He loves the coaching staff," the coach admitted. "(Tyrone) Wheatley was recruiting him, and it is so close to home.
"As soon as the Syracuse offer came through, that's where he wanted to be."