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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
DE Carter enjoying the ride this spring

By Radi Nabulsi

NORCROSS, Ga. -- ESPN 150 defensive end Lorenzo Carter seems to never stop grinning, even on the football field. His 100-megawatt smile calls to mind another affable defensive end, Michael Strahan, complete with the trademark gap. Even a shoving match with a teammate resulted in Carter falling down laughing about it later.

During the Norcross spring game on Friday, Carter and offensive tackle Horatio Walker tangled as they went at each other in the trenches. Walker held Carter’s jersey and was rewarded with a shot to the helmet.

“Well it was a run, and I don’t think Horatio respects me on the run yet, but it is all good,” Carter said between guffaws. “He tried to bully me around, but I was not having that so I had to hit him back. I was having fun out there.”

The No. 3 defensive end’s rare display of anger was noteworthy due to its rarity.

“Of course I get mad. I am a human being, but I don’t stay mad for long,” Carter said.

That was evident when teammate Myles Autry, a four-star athlete in his own right, told of how Carter tackled him in practice.

“Last year, when we went against each other, I had him,” Autry said. “But one time he picked me up and slammed me. That was when I knew who he was. I was juking and he caught me by my collar and slung me by my collar for negative yards. I usually don’t feel that -- when someone picks me up, you know he is something serious.”

Autry left out what happened next.

“He threw a ball at me,” Carter said, laughing at the memory. “He was running and I chased him down and everybody went, ‘Ohhh!’ We were tangled up, and I roll over and get up and go to the sideline. Everyone is looking at me weird. I asked why and they said, ‘Myles threw a ball at you and you didn’t do anything.’ I said, ‘Hold up. Are you sure he threw a ball at me?’ They said, ‘Yes, it hit you in the helmet.’ I didn’t even feel it. So I will have something for him when he comes back to practice. I don’t get mad, I get even.”

The nation’s No. 14 overall prospect would rather play head games than get upset. On one occasion Carter’s father, Leo, was behind the mental manipulation.

“Our goal was to get three sacks,” Leo Carter said. “And he got them. I told Lorenzo, ‘I want you to get three sacks. On the first sack, I want you to say, “That was for the Father.” You are going to have the quarterback all messed up wondering what you are talking about. On the second sack, tell him, “That was for the Son.” I said, ‘On the third sack, tell him it was for the Holy Ghost.’ It was a spiritual setting and I told him to get a sack each for the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost -- you are going to baptize him three times.”

Heaven help the next quarterback Carter faces if the family decides to go through all the disciples.

Whether Carter chooses to intimidate a quarterback mentally or physically won’t likely matter to the programs chasing him. With close to 40 offers, the Under Armour All-American can take his japes wherever he likes. So far, two schools are on top.

“I think it is pretty obvious Alabama and Georgia are on the top of my list right now, but I think that is because those are the two schools I have been to the most,” Carter said. “My parents and I have made trips there and stayed for multiple days so we are comfortable as a family with those schools. But once I start making more trips I think it will start to level out the playing field.”

Carter and Autry have discussed playing together at the next level as well.

“We have a lot of offers from the same schools so of course it would be great if we could go to the same school together, especially if we go somewhere far away,” Carter said. “That way, we would know somebody and talk about being homesick or whatever. But I don’t think we will stay attached if I really like a school and he doesn’t. He will understand.”

Of course, if anyone will get Carter, it’ll be someone who has put up with him on the practice field.