Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina

UNC Football Class of 2017 Signee: RB Michael Carter

Inside Carolina takes a closer look at the Tar Heel signee.

BIO: Enrolled at UNC in January • USA Today Florida Offensive Player of the Year • Named 6A Mr. Football by the Florida Dairy Farmers Association, becoming the fourth player from the Pensacola area to win the award, which began in 1992 •  Ranked the No. 48 running back in the country, No. 23 in the South and No. 9 in Florida by Scout.com • Posted 3,345 all-purpose yards, including 2,536 rushing yards, and scored 45 touchdowns as a senior • One of his senior season highlights was scoring a single-game record seven touchdowns against rival American Heritage while rushing for 331 yards and accumulating 179 return yards • Helped lead Navarre to a 12-2 record and a berth in the state semifinals • Rushed for 526 yards and nine touchdowns in less than three games as a junior before tearing ligaments in his knee, which sidelined him for the rest of the season • Rushed for 1,474 yards during his first two seasons of high school


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RECRUITMENT: Just as Carter started to enjoy his hiatus from recruiting visits, UNC offered. Making an exception, he traveled to Chapel Hill for the Tar Heels’ spring game. He returned to UNC for Fedora’s Freak Show. Afterwards, he set July 4 as his announcement date and narrowed his focus to UNC, Virginia, and Vanderbilt. Carolina Blue fireworks were set off during a family Fourth of July cookout.

WHY CAROLINA: “For one, it’s an extremely prestigious business school and that’s what I want to major in. But, what put [UNC] over the top was where could I see myself for four, five, or ten years. And if you’ve been in Chapel Hill, you know it’s there. I fell in love with the campus [and] the area. … And for me on offense, I really liked how much they run the ball. They have a nice balance of running and passing the ball. It’s kind of a good mix of hard running and shots to the end zone when they pass. I like the big shot, because I don’t want to be on the field for a long time – I like to score as fast as possible.”

EVALUATION: At 5-foot-8, 178 pounds, Carter is a compact all-purpose running back. He naturally runs with a low center-of-gravity, which allows him to shake off arm tackles. He patiently allows his blockers to open up running lanes, but shifts into a second gear once in the open field. When the play doesn’t develop as drawn up, he has the vision and anticipation to see secondary paths. He’s also an asset in the return game and as a receiver.

HS COACH QUOTES: "I think he's got a lot of the intangibles - he's smart, loves playing football, he's a good student and he works hard in the weight room. Paired with his innate abilities, he has all the tools to succeed. He's got a bright future ahead." — Jay Walls, Navarre HS (NWF Daily News)

UNC HC LARRY FEDORA QUOTES: "He’s a pretty multi-dimensional. Really a great kid, comes from a really good family. Just had an unbelievable senior year. He had a knee injury as a junior so he didn’t get to play much, but as soon as they cleared him he led his team to the state (semi)finals."

INSIDE THE COMMITMENT: Just about every FBS school has recruiters assigned to some portion of the talent rich state of Florida. However, the panhandle, where Carter is located, usually is neglected. … Read the full subscriber-only report 


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