Alex Carter looks to assert himself at CB

Alex Carter is a prized addition to the Stanford secondary. Although almost all recruiting websites listed him as a safety, he is indeed a cornerback. David Shaw plans to give the true freshman time this year. He talked to The Bootleg after Sunday's scrimmage.

Lombardi: How do you feel out there?

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 Stanford?

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 pretty neat.

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 now, right?

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.

Lombardi: School is still over a month away, but are you looking forward to that huge aspect of the Stanford life yet?

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

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