Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson wide receiver Eric Carter committed to Cincinnati on Thursday, choosing the Bearcats over several programs, including Iowa State, Marshall, Minnesota, Purdue, Florida International and Western Kentucky.
The 5-10, 180-pound rising senior said his relationship with the Bearcats coaches was a deciding factor.
"I wanted to make sure I had a spot at a program that I wanted to play at," Carter said. "When I think about why I like Cincinnati so much, it goes straight to the coaches like coach [Dave] Johnson and coach [T.J.] Weist. I love their message about being better football players and being better men."
Carter's commitment is the 11th for Cincinnati in the Class of 2013 and second from Florida. During a 7-on-7 tournament last weekend Carter had actually spoke of going to Cincinnati over the summer with commit Alton Meeks (Orlando, Fla./Boone).
"I still think we're going to make that trip and I know Alton's going to be excited because he's been talking to me about Cincinnati," Carter added. "I really liked West Virginia and I was hoping they would offer, but nothing was certain and they could offer now or three months away. I wanted to make a decision before the start of my senior year."
Carter said he'll fit himself into Cincinnati's schemes several ways. He can play on the outside on in the slot and he'll also volunteer for special teams.
"They like their receivers to move around and find space to operate," Carter said. "I just want to do whatever it takes to fit in because I like what they do with their receivers in the offense. It's very creative."
It's been a tough journey for Carter, who struggled with the death of his mother, Vicki Thompson, from a car accident, last July. Carter said his mother was the reason he fought through last season and knows she's proud of the decision he made Thursday.
"My mother is always going to be on my mind and today just let's me know there's a God looking down on me," Carter said. "She would be very proud and this is just an amazing feeling right now."