Ever since Plainfield (N.J.) High defensive lineman Kenny Carter came back from his official visit to Syracuse, he has had to play the waiting game. Waiting to see if there was a spot for him at Syracuse, waiting to see if another school would give him the opportunity in case the opportunity with the Orange did not materialize.
It tested his patience. It tested his resolve. But through it all, he stayed positive, believing things would work out.
”I would describe the situation as stressful,” Carter said. “That’s the only thing I could think about it. When I went on the visit, I wanted to commit right there but I knew the situation. They told me they had a couple of recruits they wanted to see if they had a spot for me. But things worked out where they ended up having a spot for me. So I’m just grateful.”
Then a call came today from Syracuse assistant Bobby Acosta. A call that may be the most influential on his life to day. Coach Acosta was able to provide the news that Syracuse did indeed have a spot for him and they wanted him to join the program.
”It was a lot of mixed emotions,” Carter said. “The biggest one was probably relief. I could finally stop worrying about the recruiting process. It was really up and down. Just not knowing where I could go, it was a toss up. With me being in the back end of it, I was screaming for a scholarship.”
Carter did not think twice. He jumped at the opportunity to don the orange and blue for the next four or five years. He new Syracuse was a great fit the second he walked on campus for his official visit last weekend.
”The first thing is that Syracuse was the first school that came to me,” Carter said. “They offered me a scholarship right away. Coach Acosta, even when times were down with Syracuse, he was the first one that was there and honest about the conversation at the same time.
”Then when I went to see the campus, when the door first opened, there was a coach standing there waiting for me. Then he says, ‘how are you doing Kenny Carter?’ I didn’t even know he knew my name. I didn’t know any of the coaches knew my name. The only I had talked to was coach Acosta. They were so welcoming and that really touched me. It touched my heart.”
As much as the Syracuse opportunity relieved some tension on his end, it was also an emotional moment for his mom.
”She started thanking the Lord,” Carter said. “She was very excited I guess. She was crying. I don’t know how to describe it. We were all just really happy.”
Now Carter can focus on the task at hand. Playing football at Syracuse University, but also focusing on the academic side of things.
”The first thing I’m going to do is make sure I stay on top of my classes so I’m able to play college football,” Carter said. “From the football side, with the meal plan they got there, they want me to put on weight to my body. I’m looking to maintain my athletic ability to coincide with my weight gain.
”They’re bringing me in as an athlete. Like a big man athlete. So I could play anywhere on the offensive or defensive line. So wherever they put me, I want to make sure I’m ready.”