GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Zachary Carter is no stranger to Florida, having visited the school a few times since last summer.
The nation’s No. 3 strongside defensive end made his latest trip to Gainesville on Saturday with both parents in tow.
“I really enjoyed it,” Carter said. “Every time I come to UF, it’s always a good time. It always feels like home.”
The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder from Tampa (Fla.) Hillsborough spent the entire day with Gators defensive line coach Chris Rumph, Florida’s primary recruiter for his area.
“I have a really good bond with coach Rumph,” Carter said. “I met him last summer and our relationship has just grown a lot. I love him as a person, just his personality.
“I like his coaching style and his background. My mom loves that, too. He makes feel like a priority at Florida and I can get the ball rolling (in Tampa).”
In addition to UF, Carter said Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame and Tennessee are recruiting him the hardest. He named the Gators his leader back in July 2015, and they’re still one of his top options.
“I really love what the coaching staff is doing and the way the program is headed,” Carter said. “I’ve gotten a bunch of offers since the summer, and now I’m pretty much trying to get around and see what everybody has to offer. I don’t want to say I have a leader right now, but I really like the Gators, though.
“I love what coach (Jim) McElwain is doing for the players. Other than football, I really like the academic side of Florida. I’m 100 percent sure about one thing — I’ll leave with a degree.”
Carter mentioned that he’s close with Gators wide receiver commit Daquon Green (Tampa Bay Tech) as well as athlete Devan Barrett (Tampa Catholic) and tight end Tre’ McKitty (IMG Academy), a Tampa product who is Florida’s No. 1 target at his position. Barrett visited Saturday with Carter and is also a priority for UF.
Carter plans to take some official visits and make a commitment after his senior season.
“I try not to base my decision on the coaches because these days a lot of coaches are leaving programs, but I still want to have a good relationship with my position coach,” Carter said. “I also want to make sure I’m getting a good education and that I’m taken care of in a family environment.”
— Zachary L Carter™ (@_ZachAttacks) February 20, 2016
Unless otherwise indicated, ratings and rankings come from the 247Sports Composite.