Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett four-star linebacker Barrett Carter, one of the nation’s top prospects in the 2021 class, knew he wanted to be a Clemson Tiger because of the special feeling he experienced whenever he stepped foot on campus.
So in May, following a visit to Clemson for its junior day earlier in the spring, Carter shut down his recruitment and committed to Dabo Swinney’s program.
Carter (6-1, 220) chose the Tigers over offers from Georgia, Auburn, Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Florida, Florida State and Oklahoma, among many others.
“Really before any visit to Clemson, I would just be really excited,” Carter said to The Clemson Insider recently, reflecting on his college choice. “I would have butterflies. I got that with a couple of schools, but I got it every time I went to Clemson. So, I really felt it in my heart that was the place for me. I felt at home there. The staff was so welcoming. They said that I’ll become the best man and player, so that’s the reason that I made the decision.”
Carter is “All In” and has been enjoying life as a Clemson commit since he jumped aboard its 2021 class on May 19.
“It’s been really good,” he said. “I’m just so blessed to be a part of the family, and I can’t wait to get to work in Clemson.”
Carter, a top-50 national recruit, got back to work with his high school team recently. North Gwinnett was able to return to on-campus training on June 8 following a layoff caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s great,” Carter said of working out with teammates again. “With the whole quarantine thing and not being able to grind with them and work out with them, it’s been weird, but it’s a great feeling that we’re back and we’re starting to ramp things up now. So, I’m just happy that we’re all back together.”
As a junior last season, Carter was highly productive as he racked up 73 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, 10 sacks and seven quarterback pressures.
Carter expects to see plenty of action at receiver and running back this season in addition to his duties at linebacker.
“I’m actually playing a lot of offense this year, so I’m just trying to work on that,” he said. “I played offense in the past, but I took a break from that and I’ve just been straight defense. So, really just working on my route running, working on my running back stuff and receiver.”
Looking ahead, based on what he has heard from defensive coordinator Brent Venables, Carter anticipates the Tigers utilizing his versatile skill set in a similar fashion to the way they deployed former All-American Isaiah Simmons on defense.
“They want me to play what Isaiah Simmons played, which is called ‘Cheetah,’ so just all over the field,” Carter said. “So, I’m working on being the best all-around player I can be. So whether that’s playing safety, whether that’s playing linebacker, rushing the passer — I’m working on it all. So, I’m just trying to be ready when I get there.”
Carter can’t wait to join the team next year and looks forward to suiting up again at the next level with one of his best friends, current North Gwinnett teammate and fellow Clemson commit Jordan Hancock.
“I’m very excited,” Carter said. “We’ve been playing together since we were like nine years old. So, to continue as being teammates throughout college is going to be awesome.”
Carter is the No. 4 prospect from the Peach State, No. 4 outside linebacker nationally and No. 45 overall prospect in the 2021 class per the 247Sports Composite rankings.
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