Decision Nears for Carter

Mario Carter attended NC State's annual Red/White Game, and the talented tight end was impressed with the Wolfpack.

"It was a very intense, physical game," Mario Carter told Pack Pride. "They threw to their tight ends a bunch of times, and that's what I was hoping to see. I like getting the ball."

Carter won a state title in 2007 in his first season at Charlotte (NC) Independence, where he started at tight end. He tallied 22 catches for 309 yards and six scores, and he added 10 rushes for 52 yards on the ground. An all-conference selection, Carter was also a vital part of Independence's running game with his lead blocking.

At 6-foot-5 and 240-pounds, he is one of the state's top jumbo athletes and a sure-fire top-20 in-state prospect. He already has offers from NC State, South Carolina, North Carolina, Michigan, Marshall, Alabama, Virginia Tech, and Virginia, with the Wolverines and the Thundering Herd being the latest.

"I've got a bunch of offers, but I'm closing in on a decision," said Carter. "It's probably going to be in the next two weeks. I know [my parents] are behind me with what I decide to do."

Previously he stated that NC State was his leader. Is that still the case?

"NC State is still in the lead," said Carter. "It's really looking good for them. I just like how they use the tight ends in their offense, and the coaches really stick out.

"I moved down here from Pittsburgh, and I was familiar with that staff when they were at Boston College. I liked the offense they ran there with coach O'Brien, and now he's at NC State. I'm comfortable with what they are trying to do on offense."

Another factor for Carter will be academics. He likes what he has been hearing from NC State regarding academics.

"I like how the coaches at State are stressing academics and grades,"he said. "When I talk with them, they always talk about how they are going to have high graduation rates because that is what is important to them."

With Anthony Hill and Marcus Stone set to graduate, the opportunity is there for a tight end to receive early playing time for the Wolfpack. In fact, the NC State coaching staff might look to bring in two tight ends in the 2008 class.

"The coaches haven't mentioned anything to me about taking another one," said Carter. "If I went there, it wouldn't matter to me though. I know what I can do, and I think if I went there I could play soon."

While NC State is out front, a few other programs remain under consideration.

"I'm still looking at South Carolina, Michigan, and [North] Carolina too," said Carter. "I'm just focused really on NC State."

Carter pointed out that he is done with unofficial visits and has one camp remaining, the 2007 Combine that is scheduled for May 12th in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Evaluation period is underway, and the first school to stop by Independence was NC State. Head coach Tom O'Brien was at the Charlotte school on Tuesday.

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