Columbia (Md.) Long Reach prospect Ron’Dell Carter is a defensive end, and Rutgers position coach Jim Panagos wanted to make that clear during his official visit.
Offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen joked over breakfast that he may have to steal Carter for the offense.
“Coach Panagos pulled me aside and said, ‘don’t say you’re a tight end anymore. You’re with me,’” Carter said.
That works fine for Carter, who has a close relationship with Panagos.
“He’s literally 99 percent of what got me interested,” Carter said. “Before I even committed, he was talking to me every single day. It wasn’t even about football. How’s school going? What are you eating? He played a huge, huge role in me committing there because he’s a great person.”
Rutgers was the first school in on Carter. That long-standing relationship makes him feel ready to go for National Signing Day.
“I’ve been all about Rutgers since the end of my freshman year when I got that first piece of mail,” Carter said. “The love they’ve shown me has been unbelievable. When I get up there, it’s like a second home. I’m just used to everything. The coaches treat me like family.”
“I enjoyed the opportunity to be around my future teammates,” Carter said. “I talked to all of them a little bit. When I got down there, I already knew half of the people down there because we all talk. Those guys are great people, and I was happy to be around them.”
Defensive end Quanzell Lambert hosted Carter.
“He definitely had good advice,” Carter said. “He told me what to expect nutrition wise. He told me about managing your time with workouts and school. He was a great leader, and a role model for the entire weekend. He made me feel comfortable. When you’re 17 getting ready for college, this is a huge transition. He made me feel more comfortable about it.”