Coach Speak: Marlon Curtis on Carter

With Norcross (Ga.) safety Jordan Noil decommitting from Maryland just five days before Signing Day, the Terps scrambled to find another defensive back to add to its 2014 class. They located one just a half hour or so down the road in Waldorf, Md., in Westlake safety Antwaine Carter.

With Norcross (Ga.) safety Jordan Noil decommitting from Maryland just five days before Signing Day, the Terps scrambled to find another defensive back to add to its 2014 class. They located one just a half hour or so down the road in Waldorf, Md., in Westlake safety Antwaine Carter.

But while Carter, who unofficially visited UMD Feb. 1, may have been a late addition, Westlake coach Marlon Curtis assured this 6-foot-2, 180 pounder can flat out ball.

"Any coach who has seen him has been ecstatic about his abilities. He is going to make an impact at the next level, I have no doubt about that," Curtis said. "It was just a question of some test scores he had to raise, but once that was cleared away the interest started picking up, and we're happy that he'll be attending the University of Maryland."

Curtis said Maryland was always "kind of involved" with Carter, first making contact last spring during the May evaluation period. He said Terps offensive coordinator Mike Locksley spoke highly of him, and Curtis personally thought UMD might be close to offering much earlier in the process.

"But the recruiting process is a whirlwind sometimes, and it took awhile [for the offer]," Curtis said. "We're just thankful at the last second he did finally get the offer. Coach Locksley called [Feb. 1] and had a little conversation with our athletic director, Dom Zaccarelli, who was the longtime football coach here, and [Locksley] was saying how Maryland had offered Antwaine and he had accepted it."

Though he had a standout campaign and was academically eligible for Division I football, Curtis said Carter did not have any other offers at the time. The Westlake coach said Towson and Delaware State, along with numerous Division II programs, were "on the verge" of throwing their name in the ring before the Terps pounced.

"I think Antwaine understood that it's a long process and he was a little late getting his scores, so it took longer for him," Curtis said. "Once he was in position, things fell his way and he jumped at it. He's going to be a great fit at Maryland. He's a really good kid, he's a great teammate, he's a leader and he works very hard at his craft."

Though Carter hadn't been in College Park recently -- before Feb. 1 he was last on campus during a camp he went to in 10th grade. He will officially visit UMD soon after Signing Day -- Curtis said the Terps are always on the brains of his players. He said Westlake advocates the hometown program and are honored to send a player Maryland's way.

"Antwaine is a local kid, he was just up there [Feb. 1] for a visit, and Maryland is home to him," Curtis said. "He has a lot of love for Maryland, and he couldn't be happier with his choice."

Last year Carter pulled double duty for the Wolverines, starting at quarterback on offense and all over the secondary on defense. As a signal caller he threw for almost 900 yards to go along with 10 touchdown passes and 10 touchdown rushes. Defensively, he had 82 tackles, two interceptions and eight pass deflections.

"He was a signature guy. We always put him on the other team's No. 1 receiver, and he locked them down," Curtis said. "He was outstanding, a huge impact guy. As a safety he comes downhill, he covers ground and he has a great nose for the football. And when we moved him to corner, like I said, he was lockdown. He has a wide range of abilities, and he can fit in everywhere on a defense."

Naturally, Carter does have some areas that need improvement. Curtis said first and foremost his senior safety has to add weight in order to hang at the next level.

"He has a great frame, but he's going to have to put on 20 pounds, and he has the body to do that without losing his speed," said Curtis, who noted that Carter runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. "And like any kid he has to work on learning the speed of the game in college and work on his fundamentals so he can do the things he was recruited to do.

"I really think once he puts on weight and learns the system he's going to do great at the next level."

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