Thursday, July 29, 2010

JFK STAR CARTER IS HUNGRY TO SUCCEED, ON AND OFF THE FIELD

(Photo of Cleveland John F. Kennedy OL Chris Carter by ScoutingOhio.com)

CLEVELAND — John F. Kennedy (Cleveland) offensive guard Chris Carter isn't the man an opposing defensive lineman wants to see lining up across from him on Friday night.

He's huge in stature (6-4, 335), he's athletic, he's mean, and his tenacious play can be infectious to all of his teammates.

"I bring fire and intimidation," Carter told The Buckeye Times. "I bring dedication, I bring heart. I bring an aura of myself to the team."

Carter will be taking that aura to Columbus in the fall of 2011, as the young man they call "Big Hungry" — a nickname given to him by his track coach — has already given his verbal commitment to play football at Ohio State.

Carter said he chose the Buckeyes for a number of reasons, most notably their academics.

"It was the academic and athletic atmospheres they have at Ohio State," Carter said. "It's the legendary Ohio State University, but with the new and improved academic process where you cannot fail. If you want help, you'll get help. If you don't want help, you'll still get help. You will get to finish your career there.

"Another thing I love about Ohio State is the pressure."

There's definitely a whole lot of pressure that comes with playing at Ohio State, especially on the offensive line where former OSU greats like Orlando Pace, Jim Lachey, LeCharles Bentley and Nick Mangold once played and etched their names in Buckeye lore.

Carter doesn't mind the pressure, though. In fact, he's ready to take it head on — kind of like he does against opposing defenders.

"I want to start at Ohio State as a freshman," Carter said. "That's a goal of mine that I'm really working hard towards."

Talk about a lofty goal! But if any player can do it, it's "Big Hungry."

Although Carter has the prototypical size of a left tackle, it's at the guard position that Ohio State envisions him playing.

"Ohio State is looking at me at guard," Carter said. "We haven't talked anything official but when I talked to Coach (Jim) Bollman he's thinking of me more as a guard."

Carter, who can be fiery and destructive on the field, is quite the opposite off of it. He's the perfect definition of a gentle giant.

"I'm an ultra relaxed person off the field," Carter said. "I like reading books, playing video games and just relaxing. I also like being adventurous, I like getting lost in a city. I can go to downtown Cleveland and just be lost with myself. I can have fun where ever I'm at."

Carter also isn't your typical star athlete. Where many players today want to graduate high school early and get to their collegiate teams as soon as possible, "Big Hungry" is quite the opposite.

"I want to finish out my senior year," Carter said. "I could graduate early but I want to have my full high school experience. I want to walk at my graduation. I want to go to the prom. Once I leave high school I'm no longer a child. It'll be time to work on my adult life — and I want to hold on to my childhood as long as I can."

Carter also has some big goals he would like to accomplish before he heads to Columbus.

"Athletic wise my goals are to be on the first team at Kennedy to make the playoffs," Carter said. "That's one of the big goals for our whole team and myself. Also, I want to play in the Big 33 game. That's my other big athletic goal.

"With my academic goals, I plan on achieving a perfect 4.0 (grade point average) and getting into the National Honor Society. My core GPA is a 2.79 and I need a 3.5 to be inducted."

Carter plans on majoring in Information Technology at Ohio State.

"I want to be an I.T. specialist," Carter said. "I really like working on and fixing computers."

Of course, being a native Clevelander the topic of LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers to play in Miami came up in our conversation.

Was Carter upset about LeBron's exit? Well, let's just say he didn't lose any sleep over it.

"People get surprised when I tell them that I didn't even see 'The Decision,'" Carter laughed. "That day I had practice and I was tired. I didn't stay up to see it, I just went to sleep."

So does that mean Chris Carter doesn't care for LeBron James?

"If it comes down to LeBron James and sleep ... I'm choosing sleep," Carter laughed. "I would rather get prepared and rested for practice the next day than to stay up and watch LeBron say he's going somewhere else."

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