His Gaithersburg (Md.) squad didn't advance as far in the Maryland state playoffs as he would have liked, but it was a standout campaign nonetheless for star junior outside linebacker Kamonte Carter. The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder rotated between defensive end and backer this year and racked up more than 80 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and 16 sacks (which is actually half the total he was aiming for at the beginning of the year).
"I could have done better, but I took a big step from my sophomore year to my junior year," Carter said. "I played some with my hand in the dirt, some outside, some in the middle, so I was everywhere. To be honest, I like defensive end best, but I'll play anywhere.
"I didn't get to play quarterback like last year, because my team needed me to concentrate on defense, but I was OK with it because I got enough throwing in as the scout-team quarterback in practice (laughs)."
Carter said his size-speed-quickness combination separates him from most edge rushers. He has a lightning-fire initial step and can overpower linemen at the point of attack.
"My coaches tell me I'm pretty much unblockable coming off the edge," he said. "I just have to constantly remind myself throughout the game to go all-out every play and that I am unblockable. If I tell myself that, and I truly believe it and play like it, then my potential is unlimited."
As far as recruiting is concerned, Carter can't even pinpoint exactly how many offers he has. He's aware of verbals from Penn State, East Carolina, Pittsburgh, Nebraska, Maryland, Rutgers, West Virginia, Michigan State, Michigan, Temple, Illinois and N.C. State.
"I know Penn State talks to me a lot, Maryland of course with them being in my backyard, ECU is in there, North Carolina is in touch quite a bit, and there are some others as well," said Carter, whose father, Aaron, is a Gaithersburg coach and an ECU graduate. "I know UNC, ECU, Maryland and Illinois were up here [during the open period] to see me."
Carter had been in touch with former Terps assistant Tom Brattan, who has recently left the program. The Gaithersburg defender had developed a solid rapport with Maryland's ex-offensive line coach.
"I liked Coach Brattan a lot. I liked his personality and how having a conversation with him was like talking to just another guy and not a coach," Carter said. "But I don't think it will affect how I feel about Maryland now that he's not there. I mean, in my mind, the school sells itself. It's 20 minutes from me, right in my backyard, and I would like to stay relatively close by for college."
Carter went on to say that he already had a relationship with Maryland head coach Randy Edsall, so it's not like he'll have to re-familiarize himself with the staff. He's spoken to Edsall at games and practices before and likes the Terps' head man.
"Coach Edsall, we have a pretty good relationship. He offered me really early; Maryland was like my first offer," Carter said. "He pretty much likes my potential, what he sees in me as a player, like how I throw and how I rush on defense. He likes me a lot at quarterback too."
The Gaithersburg backer was able to take in the Maryland-West Virginia game in Baltimore this fall. He'd like to get over to Annapolis, Md., for the Military Bowl Dec. 27 as well -- if his schedule allows.
"The WVU-Maryland game was big for the Terps," Carter said. "I was excited for them because I'm a hometown guy. I can't root against my hometown team. And the Military Bowl, it's only 45 minutes from me, so I'm pretty sure I'll be there if I'm free."
Just making it back to the postseason was impressive to Carter, who said Maryland's program is heading in the right direction.
"A bowl, that's great for them," he said. "It's putting our state back on the map. You have to be happy for your home state."
The only other game Carter saw this fall was the Penn State-Michigan game in State College, Pa. He called the experience "jaw dropping."
"My dad doesn't get impressed to often, and even he was impressed by the Penn State game," Carter said. "My whole family was there, and all four us had a great time. I don't think any of us had seen a better game. It was a great time up there and a great experience."
Though Carter had high praise for Maryland and Penn State, he warned not to read too much into that yet. He said there are no clear standouts and every program that's recruiting him has a shot. Carter has only seen two schools so far, so he'd like to visit a bunch of others like Michigan, Michigan State, UNC and more this offseason.
"I'll take some visits, and then I'm hoping to have my mind up by late spring or summer," Carter said. "I'd like to get this done before my senior season so there's no distractions."
Carter Has High Praise for Hometown School
TerrapinTimes Top Stories
Watch: No. 2 Va. OT manhandles opponentsTyran Hunt shows why he is a top target for schools such as Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech in his senior midseason highlights.
Scout FootballYesterday at 12:43 PM
Media Day Discourse: Michal CekovskyCOLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland junior forward Michal Cekovsky addressed the media Oct. 25.
TerrapinTimesYesterday at 10:09 AM
Behind Enemy Lines: IndianaMaryland takes on Indiana Oct. 29 in Bloomington, Ind., and to gain more insight into the Hoosiers we spoke to Peegs.com analyst Matt Weaver.
TerrapinTimesYesterday at 9:09 AM
Media Day Discourse: Justin JacksonCOLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland freshman forward Justin Jackson addressed the media Oct. 25.
TerrapinTimesYesterday at 6:00 AM