Carter: Pretty good. It's taking me a little while to
learn the entire defense, but now I'm really getting it. So I can
start playing really fast.
Lombardi: You're at cornerback [your high school position] even though most recruiting information had you pegged at safety. So, you're having to cover primarily receivers. Who's the toughest guy to match up with?
Carter: Ty is definitely the biggest and fastest. Kodi
[Whitfield] actually is really tough to cover, too. He runs very
nice routes. So, from that standpoint, it's fun covering him. I
saw that really nice catch that he made [during the scrimmage]. I
was on the sidelines, and I just saw 'wow.' Also Michael Rector
[true freshman], he's out right now, but he's very fast. Dontonio Jordan is working on his routes, and he's also coming up.
Lombardi: There are a lot of you in the secondary. Are
you enjoying the battle for time out there?
Carter: Every guy has an opportunity to come out and
play. We're all fighting for playing time. It's a good mix of
guys, but it's competitive.
Lombardi: There's a quite talented front seven
supporting what your unit is doing. Do you feel the benefit of
playing behind such a talented group?
Carter: They're good, and it makes things fun. Because
they're so good against the run. And when they stop the rush, that
means that we're going to get to defend a lot of pass
opportunities. And then they rush the quarterback, and that means
that he'll be hurried to throw. That just means more opportunities
for us defensive backs to make some plays on the ball.
Lombardi: Speaking of the ball, you had a couple of
chances to handle it as the kick returner [during the Sunday
scrimmage]. Is fielding kicks something you want to do at
Carter: Yeah, hopefully I can. I returned kicks in high
school. It was definitely a lot of fun. I played receiver in high
school so I like getting the ball and running.
Lombardi: Along those lines, is there any chance that
you'll line up on offense during your time at Stanford?
Carter: When they recruited me, they said a little
something about me getting in on some offensive formations but
probably not my freshman year. Once I learn everything, maybe
we'll see. But I don't know yet but hopefully, that would be
Lombardi: Did the scrimmage get some of those freshman
jitters out of the way, or are you going to have to wait until
San Jose State shows up?
Carter: The scrimmage got a little of them out of the
way. For me, it's almost all mental. I just have to learn the
defense and learn my techniques and everything. Once I do that,
everything just starts clicking. The playbook is not too bad. I
just have to sit down and make sure I go over everything. Summer
school just ended [last] Friday. So, now I'm just going over the
playbook for an hour every night. I'm making sure I have
everything down and I'm watching film.
Lombardi: And you have a beautiful new iPad to do that
Carter: [Laughs] Yeah, it's great. It's very nice
to have. It makes it easier instead of having to carry around a
big binder. I've never had to do that, but from what the guys have
told me, just going through that instead of a huge binder just
makes it a lot easier.
Carter: It's still a month away. Right now I'm just trying to recover from summer school. I'm actually glad that I don't have to worry about that right now because it gives me some time to just get accustomed to the campus. It's a big campus so it's nice to be able to get a feel for everything before everyone comes.
Lombardi: Do you have a specific point of focus right now? Is there something in particular about your game that you're trying to improve?
Carter: I'm focused on my own technique and making sure I'm in the right spot at the right time. Open field tackling and making sure the ball doesn't get behind me are the two things I'm really working on. I'm trying to play top down. That's what coach [Derek] Mason teaches us to do so that's what I'm really focusing on right now.
Lombardi: Were you happy with your performance in the scrimmage?
Carter: I think I played pretty well, except for that last play where Levine [Toilolo] scored the touchdown over me. I knew it was coming, but it was tough. A little more practice, and I think I can get it. I just have to play fast and hard and not let him catch it next time.
Lombardi: But, looking at the positive side of that, do you think other defenses will have a hard time guarding that play, too?
Carter: Oh yeah [laughs]. It's very difficult to stop him on that play. He's a really big guy.
David Lombardi, a TV and radio (95.7 The Game SF) personality in the Bay Area, is a Stanford and Pac-12 Conference enthusiast. He has broadcast the Cardinal on KZSU for several years. You can check out several of his Stanford calls and other writing at www.davidlombardisports.com.
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