One of the biggest surprises of the LSU Bayou Picnic weekend came in the offer — and subsequent commitment — of fullback Tory Carter.
But a look behind the scenes revealed that Carter’s connection and fit with the Tigers is no surprise at all.
The unranked two-way prospect out of Lee County High School (Leesburg, Ga.) caught the attention of LSU defensive line coach and area recruiter Ed Orgeron during multiple trips to the Peach State over the past month.
Orgeron, a noted defensive line guru, watched Carter play both defensive end and then make his way over to the offensive side of the ball.
It should come as no shock that he found the unique sort of prospect that is so subtly instrumental to LSU’s running attack.
“My position is very rare,” Carter told SEC Country. “It takes (teams) to find these types of specialized position players. … There are very few teams that run with a true fullback. Most teams have moved toward a spread without a fullback.”
The path that led Orgeron to discovering Carter involved two trips to Georgia, including a visit to his spring practice last Wednesday, where LSU’s defensive line coach watched the prospect work out and dominate on the practice field.
Carter’s versatility on either side of the ball pleased Orgeron, and the future fullback quickly ascended to the top of the Tigers’ wish list because of how unique of a fit he would be in their offensive system.
“He (Orgeron) came and talked to me before the spring, and then he watched me work out,” Carter explained. “Last Wednesday, he came to see my spring practice, where I played mostly (defensive) line and then a little at fullback.”
“My feet, my hands and my leverage (are what makes me excel),” he added. “I love this game, and the more positions a player can play, then the more versatile of a player he is. And a more versatile player is a better football player.”
That’s why LSU stood out to Carter, who had generated interest from a host of national college football powers this spring, including Clemson, Auburn and UGA.
However, the Tigers were the first to extend an offer the 6-foot-2, 255-pounder.
Coach Les Miles did so following the Bayou Picnic in a private sit-down meeting with the fullback, who was quick to make up his mind.
“This is the best downhill running offense in the country and at my position,” Carter explained. “That was a big part in my decision making. Nearly all of the sets that LSU runs are with a fullback.”
Miles’ offer included a sales pitch that quickly sold Carter, too.
The Georgia native will have the chance to immediately see the field, which was as attractive of an opportunity as he could have hoped for.
Between the fit in the LSU offense and the chance to thrive in it as early as next season, Carter realized there was no sense in waiting. As quickly as Orgeron and Miles discovered him, Carter fittingly found a landing spot worth settling on.
“The meeting with Coach Miles really got me wanting to commit yesterday afternoon when they offered,” Carter said. “When coach explained the offense more to me, I realized that this was the place for me. We had the meeting after the picnic was over, and that’s when he offered. It was amazing and I can’t wait to get up here.
“The opportunity to play as a freshman and compete for a job is very important to me. I am a very competitive player.”
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tigers Stadium.