November 17, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators helmet on the sidelines against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 23-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Football Recruiting: Lorenzo Carter Names Gators As Leader

Five-star phenom defensive end Lorenzo Carter  made an unexpected announcement as he named the Florida Gators his leader at the closing of Nike’s The Opening competition on Wednesday.

The 6’6″, 235 pound Georgia native had already said previously that the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide would be in his top two, and most in the recruiting world felt as though it would be a battle until the end between those two schools for the pass rushing star. Yet, after taking a visit with his family to Gainesville last month, Carter came away impressed and decided that the Gators are on top, at least for now.

Oct 6, 2012; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp (left) and his wife Carol celebrate after the Gators beat the LSU Tigers 14-6 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Carter is ranked as the No. 3 overall player in our FanSided150 rankings and is as physically gifted as they come. He possesses great athleticism and a great frame that will allow him to continue to gain size and eventually develop into a 260+ pound pass rusher.

Carter has the same freakish athletic ability and draws comparisons, in my opinion, to players like Julius Peppers, Mario Williams, and DeMarcus Ware with the ability to play defensive end or a pass rushing outside linebacker.

Florida has an interesting way of using Carter, and that has drawn his attention to the style of defense that Head Coach Will Muschamp and Defensive Coordinator Brad Lawing use. The Gators look to use Carter as a hybrid at outside linebacker and defensive end depending on the package to help utilize his pass rushing skills.

Florida does a great job of rotating players up front, and if Carter comes in and is not a starter, he could still earn plenty of playing time as a second-string true freshman.

I wrote in an article a few weeks ago, which you can read here, about how Mark Richt and the Georgia staff needed to keep talent in state, and one of the two players that I discussed that they must land was Carter.

Both Georgia and Alabama run 3-4 style defensive schemes, and those defenses depend on the pass rush from the outside linebackers instead of defensive ends as in a 4-3 system. Carter is being recruited as an outside linebacker by both the Dawgs and Crimson Tide, which differs slightly from how Florida is recruiting the Norcross High School prospect.

Although Carter named the Gators as his leader right now, he did state that nothing was final and that Georgia, Alabama and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are all still in the mix. He does not plan to make a commitment until National Signing Day in February.

Carter is undoubtedly one of the most talented players in this class of 2014, and it is a good thing that the coaches at Alabama, Florida, and Georgia know him so well because there is a good chance that the two teams who miss out on Carter will have to figure out how to stop him in the future.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @EvanWilliamson_.


Tags: Brad Lawing Florida Gators Lorenzo Carter Mark Richt Will Muschamp

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