Kamonte Carter's father doubles as his defensive coordinator, a position that may make some high school athletes feel uncomfortable. But not the Gaithersburg, Md., defensive end. He thrives off it.
Aaron Carter played at Eastern Carolina, meaning he's already gone through the recruiting process and can offer his defensive end son both on-field and off-field advice about how to handle charging defenders and college coaches alike.
"Last year, I always liked how Penn State, even with the whole sanctions and everything, how everybody stayed together and tried to stay at Penn State," Kamonte Carter said when asked what sprung interest for the trip. "I always liked the ‘We Are … Penn State,' and I just like everything about Penn State.
"I like their defensive line, and how their defense and offense has a little swagger. I think my dad likes it, too. So last year, when they showed interest, we decided we definitely got to get to Penn State."
Gaithersburg is 6-0 mid-way through its regular season, and the 6-foot-4, 220-pound end has been right in the thick of it, reporting he has a trio of sacks and more 20 tackles.
Penn State has yet to offer a scholarship, but that didn't change his experienced amid a near capacity crowd of 107,884. He believes one may be coming soon, but isn't paying it too much mind. After all, recruiting will still be there in January. A chance to win a state title, however, will not, which is why Kamonte Carter said he is focusing the majority of his attention on his current high school campaign.
Saturday, he allowed that focus to alter, if just for a night. The end spent a brief moment speaking with Lions' defensive line coach Larry Johnson before kickoff, continuing an open line of communication that has been present with Johnson since his sophomore season.
"It showed a lot of interest and just made me feel more welcome to Penn State," Kamonte Carter said of the chat with Johnson. "I felt like I was a standout person, and it made me feel awesome.
"I feel like it's coming," he continued when asked about an offer. "Whenever I can get up there, I will, and I try to talk to them whenever I can. I think they have a pretty close relationship with my coaching staff, because one of our former defensive ends played at Penn State."
That's Sean Stanley, the former Nittany Lion native to Gaithersburg who is now a student assistant at PSU. The two know each other personally, but when it comes to Penn State, Stanley usually holds those conversations with Aaron Carter, who passes them along to his son.
Both experienced what Stanley had the opportunity to over his time at Penn State. Many things stood out, Kamonte Carter said, and when asked to pick one thing that stood out the most, he simply couldn't. There was too much.
He noted the effect a crowd can have on a game, reflecting on how a sea of fans chanting for a stop can cause a player to dig deeper than he even thought was possible. He had never seen, or heard, anything quite like what he heard inside a raucous Beaver Stadium.
"I was pretty much shocked, and my mind was blown," Kamonte Carter said. "My dad played in college and played at many different levels, and he said that's probably the best game that he's ever seen. It was just amazing. I've never seen such excitement.
"Honestly, it was great seeing how all the fans get into it, seeing the alumni, and everything at Penn State," he continued. "It really alters how other teams play. You can tell it would be really cool to have that much support while you're playing."
Maryland, Rutgers, Nebraska, Michigan State, East Carolina, Temple, North Carolina State and Pittsburgh have already extended offers to the early Scout four-star, but as of now, he has no other visits planned.
That all goes back to his desire to win a state title this fall. The 2013 campaign has offered quite the turnaround from a year ago, when the Trojans finished 3-7. One never knows when a chance to travel deep into the playoffs may present itself again, and Kamonte Carter doesn't wish to distract himself from this opportunity.
He does a bit of everything for Gaithersburg. He plays down in its 4-3 package, and drops back to outside linebacker when it shifts to a 3-4 front. His ability to do so, he says, rests on the help of his father.
"I think I've pretty much improved all together. I mean as far as leadership, making plays and everything, I've improved," Kamonte Carter said. "It helps a lot when you live with your coach. He helps a lot, and we watch a lot of film."