For Carter, the relationships built at Rutgers combined with the chance to play running back won out.
"I think that's really honestly where Rutgers stood out for Devan," he said. "He's good friends with [sophomore] Quentin Gause and he's gone to Rutgers a ton of times going back to last summer. The one thing he kept saying to me was how much he liked the people there. The players, the coaches, the atmosphere, that really stood out to him. In the end it was a perfect fit for him."
Regardless of the departure of Syracuse coach Doug Marrone to the NFL, Lian said Carter would have visited Rutgers and kept the program under strong consideration.
"It's not like they came late," he said. "It's not like they swooped in and took advantage because of the [Syracuse] coaching change. I know locally in Upstate New York, that's how some people are perceiving it. But Devan's built this relationship with Rutgers the whole time. I think they were very much in play throughout this entire process. It's not like he had a change of heart just because of a coaching change."
Carter will come in to Rutgers as a running back and is also expected to work at fullback. When wrapping up the season, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood discussed the importance of adding fullback depth to the program.
Carter brings depth and size to the position.
"Devan's a great kid," Lian said. "I think athletically, I've coached for 13 years and had players go to all kinds of places. Devan is by far, as far as physical size mixed with speed and explosiveness, the best I've ever had. Athletically, I think it's a great fit.
"The entire time, Devan had a lot of different schools come into play after he committed to Syracuse and everybody wanted him as a running back. That is what Devan really wanted in the first place. Rutgers has been very firm about him playing running back the whole time as a power back in their system. We'll see what he does when he gets there, but I fully expect him to do well at running back and a little fullback for them."
Carter is now solid to Rutgers and has no more recruiting plans before National Signing Day, Lian said.
"He's done with recruiting," Lian said. "Everybody involved wanted this decision to be made by today and that's kind of the timetable Devan gave himself, so he spent all of last night thinking hard and making sure Rutgers was what he wanted to do. He was 100 percent and this is over. He called everybody and he's going to Rutgers."