At 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, Curtis Carter has participated in camps in Baton Rouge and Dallas so far this spring, and his testing results rank him among the best in the nation.
Carter’s times – all electronic – include a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash and 4.12 in the shuttle, to go with a 41 inch vertical leap and a 9-9 broad jump. He says his camp performances have gone a long way in getting the attention of various schools.
“I did well at the camp in Baton Rouge, but I really blew up at the Nike camp in Dallas,” Carter said. “After all the testing I went back and played wide receiver, and I got named one of the top players at the camp. I got invited back to an ultimate 100 camp in Dallas in June, and my goal there is going to be to run in the 4.3’s.
“I started hearing from a lot more schools after the Dallas camp,” he continued. “Before I was really only hearing from the smaller in-state schools. Now I’m getting stuff from UCLA, Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, and Louisiana Tech. Alabama and LSU have been by the school in the last few weeks to see me, and Texas A&M was there today (Tuesday).”
Carter does not have any offers yet, but instead of letting that disappoint him he uses it as extra motivation.
“I’m not worried about not having offers yet because I want to earn my scholarships; I don’t want to be given anything,” he said. “That’s why I go to these camps with a chip on my shoulder to prove I’m legit.”
Carter says he is prepared to continue proving himself until schools start taking notice.
“Pretty much all the schools are telling me I can play wherever I want, but I know I’ll most likely have to be either a receiver or corner in college,” said Carter, who totaled 1,038 all purpose yards and 17 touchdowns as a quarterback last season. “I’ve had to play quarterback so far in high school because that gives my team the best chance to win. But I’m going to go to camps this summer and play receiver to show coaches what I can do.”
The camps that Carter has in mind are LSU, Alabama and Louisiana Tech, but there is some uncertainty regarding his summer plans due to his impending baseball schedule. He is also a standout on the diamond, and he’s hoping to use this summer to get more attention in baseball, just as he did this spring for football.
“I’ve been playing baseball since I was four or five years old, so that was actually my first love,” said Carter, who plays centerfield and is hitting .350 this spring with 30 stolen bases from his leadoff spot. “I actually had a scout from the Yankees at one of my games at the beginning of the season. He said he was very interested in me and liked my hand-eye coordination and my speed. He said he would keep in touch, and I actually saw him at another one of my games a few weeks later.”
Carter is not getting any interest from colleges as far as baseball goes at the moment, but he hopes to change that this summer when he hits the road with his traveling summer league team.
Of course, the home state Tigers have a proven track record of success in both sports, as well as allowing athletes to do both. That’s just one of the many reasons Carter is interested in LSU.
“I’ve been to LSU a few times this spring, for junior day and the spring game,” he said. “Everything is nice down there; it’s just perfect. They were actually the first school that started recruiting me. They know I ran a 4.36 (40) last summer, and that's when they started looking at me. Everybody around me is a big LSU fan and It’s a really nice school.”
While on his visits Carter got a good look at the academic setup at LSU, but he had already heard plenty about the assistance that LSU offers its athletes from his cousin Marcus Carter, who was a standout letterman receiver for the Tigers from 1990-91.
“I especially like the academics at LSU,” Curtis said. “That was the thing that impressed me the most probably. They have over 100 tutors in there just for student athletes. Really the only way I can see people not making the grades at LSU is by literally not trying, because they are there to help you as much as you need.”
Carter’s most recent trip to Baton Rouge for the spring game ended up amounting to more than just watching the White team dominate the Purple team.
“I went down for the spring game with my family, and we ended up staying overnight,” he said. “Before the game we got to sit down and talk with Coach Miles and just get to know each other. I also got to sit in the receivers’ meeting and see how they break down film and prepare for games.”
Carter says his meeting with Miles provided him with even more motivation to continue to show out in the summer.
“Coach Miles said he wants me on the team, but he wants to get to know me better before offering,” Carter said. “I can understand that because he hasn’t seen what I can do as a receiver yet, and you don’t want to just go around offering people without knowing what they can do. That just means I have to go to camp this summer and keep showing him and everyone else that I am who I say I am.”
While Carter is hoping to finally start earning some offers this summer, he says he’s not going to rush to a decision.
“When recruiting first started, I always figured I would be going to LSU if they offered,” he said. “But now I realize I need to sit back and look at everything else to find the best place for me. So even if I get some offers this summer, I’m not going to commit anywhere. I’m going to want to sit down and really learn more about these schools, and then take my official visits.”