CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Michael Carter won’t officially announce his collegiate decision until a family gathering on the Fourth of July. However, he did reveal Saturday that North Carolina was the school to beat.
“UNC is the leader,” Carter said. “You can’t really beat a top five business school and a top ten in college football. This is where I want to be.”
Carter, a 5-foot-8, 178-pound running back from Navarre (Fla.), says there are only two schools that could knock UNC off its perch: Vanderbilt and Virginia. He’s looking into trips to Vanderbilt this Saturday and then UVa shortly thereafter.
Entering the weekend, UNC was a strong player for Carter. But, itt was his experience on Saturday – particularly at Fedora’s Freak Show that night – that elevated the Tar Heels to leader status.
“It was one of a kind,” Carter said.
Carter arrived in Chapel Hill at 3 am Saturday morning. Following rest at a hotel, he reported to campus at 2:30 that afternoon for a full campus tour.
“Last time when I came for the spring game, we didn’t get to go all the way,” Carter said. “But, I got to see every aspect [on Saturday] in and out of the campus and where I would be personally in the business program – I want to major in marketing. That was the most appealing thing, because that’s what I want to do with my life.”
Later that night, Carter participated in the Freak Show. Immediately, he noticed several differences between the Freak Show and a run-of-the-mill camp.
“One, they pick their guys, so there’s not that many,” Carter said. “There’s a select few, so there’s more reps for us [and] better competition. And it’s at night – most camps aren’t at night. Most camps are hundreds of kids that just want a shot.
“And, it’s just fun out here and the coaches make it fun. They’re yelling at you, but they make it fun, too. It’s fun football and that’s how it’s supposed to be.”
During the Freak Show, Carter expectedly worked out under Larry Porter, UNC’s running backs coach.
“He’s full of energy,” Carter said. “The whole time that we’re working out, he’s fixing us as we go. So, he’s not going to let us do something wrong and develop a bad habit… It’s real cool, because he’s real close with all his players.”
Carter also noted that he liked that typically there were a second pair of eyes on him. Those eyes belonged to Larry Fedora. Like Porter, Fedora wasn’t shy about correcting a bad habit either, according to Carter.
Similar to his prior visit, Carter noticed a constant theme through his stay.
“Everybody is so friendly here,” Carter said. “It’s family based and that’s what I want to be a part of.”
Case in point: Elijah Hood, UNC’s starting running back, was more than happy to give Carter objective recruiting advice.
“I asked him, ‘Why are you a Tar Heel?’” Carter said. “He was like, ‘The best advice I got was not to come off of emotion, but decide what’s the logical thing for you and your future because it’s a four-year decision.' Then he told me, ‘Don’t commit to the coaches. Commit to the players, the university, the campus – anything but the coaches, because coaches come and go. Players come and go, but not as often as coaches come and go.’ He was like, ‘The group you’re going to be with the most are the players.’”
Fortunately for UNC, Carter jives well with its players.