When a 7-footer with a high ceiling pops up in the senior class after the November signing period for college basketball, you can bet many of the top programs in the nation will come calling. Such is the case for 7-1 Jared Carter of Georgetown, Kentucky.
Carter, a star 230-pound center from Scott County High School was averaging 17 points a game, 10 rebounds, and nearly seven blocked shots a game for his high school team, now 23-3 on the season.
As an emerging center, the stock has risen for Carter to the point that schools such as Boston College, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Ohio State have now all offered him. In addition to those schools, others such as Georgia Tech, Illinois, Cincinnati, Florida State, and Clemson remain in the picture.
Tim Glenn, an assistant for Scott County, fields a lot of phone calls from college coaches about Carter, and feels Carter will be an asset in the future to the program lucky enough to sign him in the April signing period.
"One big plus about Jared is that he's a hard worker," Glenn said Monday evening in an interview. "He's one of the first ones here and one of the last ones to leave. That's been a big part of his success and I think it's the reason he has the opportunities he now has."
Glenn says that Carter has added nearly 20 pounds to his frame since before the season began, taking him from a very skinny 210 pounds to almost the 235 he weighs today.
Although he's added a lot of weight, Carter's biggest asset appears to be his ability to run the floor very well for someone standing 7-1. One goal is to continue to do so while still getting stronger.
"The main thing is that he needs to continually get stronger and his body could add 15 to 20 more pounds," Carter added. "He still runs the floor great. It could go up top, and if he gets a little more upper body strength, with having a strong base he will be in good shape."
"The thing about these programs is that they all have great workout programs and nutritionists and all of that, so you know someone like Jared will be in the proper shape in college," Glenn added.
Colleges apparently like what they see in Carter, and it shows.
Just last week, Carter entertained new scholarship offers from Ohio State and North Carolina. Both Thad Matta and Roy Williams, head coaches of the Buckeyes and Tar Heels respectively, were in attendance to watch Carter.
It remains uncertain of how much impact these new offers had on him.
"He really hasn't come out and said he has any favorites," Glenn explained. "He rattled them off Friday night as to what schools he's looking at and Ohio State was in there. He just really hasn't wavered. He doesn't really say a whole lot, but I think these new ones with Ohio State, Kentucky, and North Carolina are all definitely in the mix."
The reality is, very few people, including Glenn, know where a team like Ohio State -- new to the process -- stands with Carter. However, Matta most certainly left a good impression, especially with Carter's high school coaches, Glenn and head coach Billy Hicks.
"When Coach (Thad) Matta came down, he just was a super-nice fellow," Glenn recalled. "I think Jared was really impressed. He (Carter) seems to really like him (Matta). He's got some big options here, and I think it's a matter of deciding with his family where he should go."
"One thing about it is that Ohio State is not very far away, and that's definitely important with Jared. Geography matters to him right now. They have a pretty good tradition up there at Ohio State, so they will certainly be an option," he added.
Glenn believes that Carter will take his four remaining official visits after the season. Currently, his only visit was to Boston College in November.
He also acknowledged that given the tradition and proximity of Kentucky, the Wildcats will be a tough team to beat, but he said that Carter seems to be very open, and North Carolina, Illinois, Georgia Tech, and several others will still be possibilities.
When Carter and his family ultimately decide on a school, the chosen school will be getting a pretty well rounded player who excels academically.
"He (Carter) can get out and shoot the 15-footer and he shoots it well from the foul line," Glenn described. "He's got a real nice-looking shot, and he has a great hook from either his left or his right. He obviously runs the floor pretty well, and he finishes it well underneath."
"He's a great kid, and a real good player. I think he's a lot better now
than what he was when he started the season," Glenn concluded.