- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
While many 2014 recruits will be fired up to perform this spring and summer in front of coaches making campus visits and at various college camps, few will be as motivated as Brett Carter (Tacoma, Wash./Franklin Pierce).
The 6-foot-3, 199-pound linebacker was forced to miss his entire junior season when, two days before the season opener, Carter suffered a compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula.
"They just put in a play for me on offense, which was a tight end middle screen," Carter said. "I made a cut and as I was planting, a defender was pushed down on a block and fell on my leg."
Carter was originally given a 10- to 12-week recovery, but he said it will be more in the range of 14 to 16 weeks, which will allow him to begin working back to full strength in January. Meanwhile, Carter has been working hard to make the most of his opportunity this offseason, as the two-sport standout looks to get on the basketball court next month.
"I've been in the weight room every morning with the football team before basketball practice," he said. "I've been doing upper-body workouts to get back in shape."
Despite the injury, college coaches have shown Carter plenty of attention. This fall, he attended games at Utah and Washington State as an unofficial visitor.
"I've been starting that relationship, especially with Utah," he said. "I took a visit out there and got to have a tour and spend the weekend with the coaches. They said the leg injury doesn't affect anything and they invited me to a camp this summer."
Arizona State, Michigan State, Missouri and Washington have also expressed interest in Carter. The linebacker said he plans to visit Washington in the next week or two. As for schools in which he has the most early interest, Carter said Washington "for sure" would get a long look, and added that he is quite interested in Utah.
But Carter knows that his biggest opportunity will come in the early parts of next year, when he can get out on the field and perform in front of coaches. Without any junior film, this will be his first real chance to make himself stand out before his senior season.
"My confidence level wasn't struck at all," Carter said of the injury. "Because of the surgery I had, I know my leg can't break again. I'm going to be putting in 100 percent effort this spring and summer because it's huge for me. I want to show them that I'm back and ready to go."
546dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert