TAMPA, Fla. — About this time last year, Zachary Carter went from unknown to being a coveted football recruit.
The four-star defensive end from Tampa’s Hillsborough High School received his first offer from Kentucky last April, and then four more schools followed suit in May. But things got serious for him the following month.
“When I got the Florida offer,” Carter said, “I was like, ‘Wow. It’s about to get real.’ I knew it was coming and it did.”
After Carter attended summer camp at UF, the offers started pouring in for him. He now has more than 40, but there’s a group of schools recruiting him the hardest.
“Florida, Clemson, Notre Dame, Miami, Ole Miss and Tennessee,” said Carter, a top-100 overall prospect and the No. 1 strongside defensive end in Florida.
Carter is closest to the coaches at Clemson and UF, but he revealed his strongest relationship is with Gators defensive line coach Chris Rumph.
“The first time I met him I could tell he was a good guy,” Carter said of Rumph. “On all my trips there I’ve really liked his personality not just as a coach but as a person.
“I got to see him in action and I like his coaching style. He’s comfortable with me, too. We talk like we’re friends instead of coach and player. I think that’s a big part of it.”
Carter doesn’t have a leader right now and is trying to take his time with the recruiting process. But the lifelong Florida fan admits the Gators will be hard to top.
“It’s a pretty tough school to beat,” Carter said. “I like a couple other programs too, so I want to wait on my decision. But Florida is making that hard.”
Unless otherwise indicated, ratings and rankings come from the 247Sports Composite.