Carter chose the Scarlet Knights Monday morning with the idea of coming in as a hybrid defensive end. Rutgers calls it the "R" position, which is a combination of pass rush and coverage responsibilities.
"Ron'Dell is a very athletic young man," said Long Reach coach Jamie Willis. "He's a smart kid. He can do a lot of different things because of how smart he is. He can run around and use his athleticism, and also be able to get to the quarterback, which he loves to do."p> Marcus Thompson manned the position for Rutgers last year and is now busy with NFL workouts. Jamaal Westerman, Ka'Lial Glaud and Marvin Booker all worked at the position at Rutgers before earning NFL contracts of their own.
"I just think it's a good fit," Willis said. "As a basketball player also, Ron'dell is very athletic, and also get to the quarterback and do what he wants to do – sack the quarterback."
Carter made the decision to end his recruitment on Easter Sunday after conversations with his head coach and Rutgers defensive line coach Jim Panagos.
The Rutgers pledge received a full endorsement from the Long Reach program.
"Ron'Dell is an awesome kid," Willis said. "I'm very happy for the young man. It just shows that all of the hard work that he does is paying off. We're really excited for him and as we get going into our second year at Long Reach, we're really excited to get a player like him to be the face of our organization."
Willis and Carter both have relationships with Panagos, and are excited to spend more time with head coach Kyle Flood. Long Reach will be on the Rutgers campus this summer for its annual passing camp.
"I'm very comfortable [with Rutgers]," Willis said. "I haven't gotten to know coach Flood a whole lot except going up to their 7-on-7 for a couple of years. Coach Panagos is an outstanding guy. He's a Maryland kid that knows what Maryland football is all about. I think it's the best fit for a guy that grew up in Maryland. I know he's going to do whatever it takes to help Ron'dell succeed as a young man."
The 6-foot-3, 227-pound Carter picked Rutgers over Boston College and Buffalo. Projecting to earn more offers during the spring evaluation period, he was quick to jump on his Big Ten opportunity with the Scarlet Knights.
"I just think it's at a level where Ron'Dell is the type of player you're looking for in the Big Ten," Willis said. "For Ron'Dell, it's far away enough from home so that he can continue to grow and be the young man that he's supposed to be. It's also close enough that his family can come see him.
"Academically, they have what he wants. He's strong academically, so wherever he decided to go is a good fit. But I just think Rutgers is an outstanding program. They've been around for a long time."
For Carter to take the next step, consistency in practice will be the key, Willis said.
"He practices hard, but he needs to increase the intensity at which he practices," he said. "I think a lot of high school kids come from programs really not knowing how hard and intense practice is at the college level.
"Usually they're the best player on their team. Usually they don't have that person that they go against day-in and day-out that brings the same level of intensity. We've told him, the sooner you learn to practice with the intensity you saw up at Rutgers, the better off you'll be."