North Carolina will be acquiring a much more explosive Allen Cater than it thought.
“I’ll go into the basketball gym with friends and play pickup games, and I’m dunking easier than ever,” Cater said. “I could dunk before, but now there’s no problem.”
Cater, a defensive lineman from Kennesaw (Ga.) Mt. Paran Christian School, obviously won’t be dunking in Kenan Stadium. But, that explosiveness will certainly help him pursue opposing quarterbacks.
“[Tray Scott] told all of us d-linemen that were there at the spring game that it was on us if he was going to throw us into the fire,” Cater said. “He said, how we react will depend on whether we red-shirt or not. It’s up to us to accept the challenge to not be timid and be physical.”
Specifically, Cater will be plugged into the “power” end depth chart.
Begrudgingly, Cater will sport No. 33 during his UNC career.
“If it was up to me, I would have kept my No. 3,” Cater laughed. “But Coach Scott is not a big fan of single digit numbers on the D-line. So he was like, ‘What about 33?” And I was like, ‘Alright, alright.’”
The increased explosiveness is a direct result of Cater following the workout assembled by UNC’s strength and conditioning staff, plus bonus work.
“The UNC workout is good, but I do little things every now and then pretty much to give my body something different,” Cater said. “I’m trying to keep me off guard.”
During school hours, Cater works out with his high school coach in the weight room. Afterwards, he trains at Georgia Sports Performance.
Besides the explosiveness, the 6-foot-4 Cater has bulked up to 240 pounds. He played his senior football season at 235, but lost weight immediately after it ended.
“The only thing that [UNC] asked me to do was to come in in-shape as much as possible because it’s going to be hard,” Cater said. “They told me not to worry about the weight; they’ll put that on me when I get there. As long as I can come in mentally prepared and in-shape as possible, I should be straight.”
Last month, Cater attended UNC’s spring game. It was his first visit since his mid-January official trip. Immediately he felt at home among the other signees, despite being among the last additions to the class.
“It’s a family,” Cater said. “All of us said, ‘Hey, we’re in this together.’ That’s what families do – you try to make everyone feel at home. I definitely appreciate everyone welcoming me, considering most of them had been committed for months and months.”
For enrollment, Cater is attempting to put together an all-freshmen D-line suite. Since UNC signed five defensive linemen in the 2016 class (Cater, Nolan DeFranco, Kyree Campbell, Marlon Dunlap, and Tomon Fox) and suites fit four students, one would be the odd man out.
“I look at it like this: all four of us in the same room, that would be more time for us to go over things,” Cater said. “It’s accountability having the same position in the same room, in my opinion.”
Cater, who has passed UNC admissions and been deemed qualified by the NCAA Eligibility Center, spent last weekend picking out classes for the second summer semester. He’s debating majoring in either business or sports management.
“I want business, because I’ve always wanted to own my own business,” Cater said. “For some reason, since I was younger I’ve wanted to be the one giving out all the orders and telling people what to do [and] how to do it.
“And then I want sports management, because I kind of want to venture into the agent side of things. Who better to have as any agent than somebody who has played the game?”
Cater will graduate from Mt. Paran Christian School this Saturday. He’ll then report to UNC on June 14.
“I’m just looking forward to doing what I was given the opportunity to do,” Cater said. “I want to go out there and do whatever I can to help the team to be successful and at the end of the day win.”