Carter's Coach: 'He's Equipped To Handle It'

More than three weeks of uncertainty ended Thursday night when Ohio State announced that three-star offensive lineman Chris Carter had signed to the program. Scott Wodtly, Carter's prep coach, told that he feels the lineman will be ready to handle the pressures of being a Buckeye with a publicized incident in his past.

Describing the last few weeks as a difficult process, Chris Carter's head coach Scott Wodtly said he feels the offensive lineman will be ready to handle the pressures he will face at Ohio State.

Carter, a three-star prospect from Cleveland John F. Kennedy, issued a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes in mid-March. One day before National Signing Day, however, he was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor sexual imposition. According to police records, Carter – a member of his school's Army JROTC – told more than a half-dozen girls at his school that he needed to measure them for uniforms. He then groped them and recorded their measurements in a book, according to the report.

Charges were never filed, however, and now Carter has signed to join OSU's class of 2011.

"I think when you have an opportunity and you can see the hopes kind of dashed, to get another chance is really special," Wodtly told "You just want what's best for kids and you want to see what's best for their future. It's a big opportunity for him and I'm glad to put the situation behind us and move forward to the future."

Wodtly said he has been in close contact with OSU cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson, who kept him appraised of what was transpiring.

"I think their major concern was just to get the facts, to make sure they knew what the facts in the situation were as far as the criminal legalities and things of that nature," Wodtly said.

Asked if Carter would have been able to be a Buckeye had he been charged with a crime, Wodtly said, "I'm the wrong person to ask that question, but I'm sure they were watching closely."

Listed at 6-6, 350 pounds, Carter projects as an interior lineman. rates him the No. 27 offensive guard in the country.

On signing day, OSU head coach Jim Tressel pointed out that the Buckeyes had signed 23 recruits but could still possibly add one more. Carter was the player in question, but Tressel could not discuss him specifically due to NCAA rules.

In a statement released Thursday by the university, Tressel said that Carter has a great support system and that those who make up his circle believe that he will be a success both on and off the field in Columbus.

Wodtly said he agrees with Tressel's comments.

"The sky's the limit," he said. "I think his opportunity to play is going to be really up to him. He's in a tough situation right now. There's going to be some growing up to do. He's going to have to take the game seriously and understand that it's another level, which means there's going to be a lot more pressure, a lot more work and a lot more expectations. He'll have to take it from there. It's all on him."

Reached for comment, Carter agreed that it is an exciting opportunity and one that he is thankful for but said he would speak more later.

As for the greater scrutiny that is sure to accompany him when he enrolls for summer classes, his prep coach again said he feels Carter will be ready for the extra stress he could face.

"I think he's equipped to handle it," the coach said. "I think he understands a little better now about the spotlight and that he's going to be thrust into it. he's going to have to be able to handle that type of pressure. I've had many close contacts with him and I've talked with him about it and he understands that in the media, he's not always going to be portrayed the way he's going to want to be so you have to guard your reputation.

"There's going to be some proving on his part, but I think he's in a position to be able to handle it."

Buckeye Sports Top Stories