Reggie Carter: UGA LB commit’s feel-good story

A UGA football recruit was one of the feel-good stories of the week.

In his first complete game of high school football in nearly two years after recovering from a serious knee injury, South Gwinnett High School linebacker Reggie Carter had 19 tackles and one sack in his team’s opener on Friday.

"You can tear both

UGA to LB commit Reggie Carter: "You can tear both of your ACLs and your offer is still going to be good at Georgia" (AJC)

Carter, who committed to UGA over FSU and South Carolina last April, suffered a torn ACL and ligament damage on the 10th play of South Gwinnett’s season opener last year.

It has been a long road of recovery, and the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder was almost in tears after Friday’s game.

“There was so much emotion,” Carter told the AJC. “I was so happy and so blessed to make it through a whole game. Early in the game, I felt like going out because I was thinking ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’ But I looked at my teammates, and they were like ‘Hey forget about that. You’ve got to do it. You’ve got to play through this.’ And I did.”

It would’ve been a perfect night if not for losing 35-20 to Norcross. “We lost, and I’m still kind of mad about that,” Carter said. “Some people told me, ‘At least you should be happy you made it through a full game.’ But I wanted to win the game.”

South Gwinnett coach John Small commended his star player on his dynamic return. “For him to get back out there with bullets flying around, in live action, it was great to see Reggie play the way he did. I was as happy as I could be for that kid because I know he’s come a long way and fought through a lot. I’m very proud of him.”

Carter said there were some rough moments during the recovery but that he never doubted he would play again at a high level. “I always knew I was going to be back. I knew I would be fine. People around me kept me thinking positive.” Carter said he also gained confidence and motivation the day before last week’s opener after watching South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore rush for 110 yards and two touchdowns after also recovering from a serious knee injury over the last year.

Right now, Carter estimates that he’s playing at “80 percent” with the remaining recovery being not physical but mental – “learning to trust” playing on his right knee again. Said Small, “He’s not anywhere close to how he’s going to be. He’s just got to get the feel of the game back. He’s just got to get back in that groove, playing with confidence on that leg. I know that’s an injury that takes a lot to come back from mentally, but he’s definitely on the right track.”

The summer before his junior year, Carter was one of the state’s most-heavily recruited prospects for 2013. While some schools backed off after the injury, Carter continued to be aggressively pursued by UGA – which factored into his decision to pick the Bulldogs.

“They told me, ‘You can tear both of your ACLs and your offer is still going to be good at Georgia.’ It made me feel good, but I knew they were a school that would honor your scholarship, no matter what. That’s why I picked them, too. They’ve had other guys get injured, and they still honored their scholarships. That was important to me, going to a school that would keep its word.”

UGA-bound LB Reggie Carter had 19 tackles & 1 sack in his first full game of HS football in two years (AJC)

UGA-bound LB Reggie Carter had 19 tackles & 1 sack in his first full game of HS football in two years (AJC)

Added Small, “I think Georgia has a track record that if a kid is committed, they’re going to stick with the kid, no matter what. They’ve been loyal to everyone committed, it seems like. They expect him to heal up 100 percent, and he’s on the right track. [Mark Richt] and those guys, they’re not going to pull something from anybody. I don’t think they’ve ever done that to anybody for an injury. And that speaks volumes for Georgia.”

What about the schools that backed off because of the injury? Carter said he wasn’t going “to name any names” — while adding, “There’s no hard feelings but it will motivate me more when I play against them in college.” Small also declined to name specific colleges. “I just think a lot of them wanted to see him play his senior year, coming back from a knee injury. But Georgia was there all along, and offered him when he had the surgery. They knew the type of player he was and had seen him as a sophomore. They knew he was a good one, and kids come back from knee injuries all the time.”

Carter projects to play linebacker at UGA. “He can rush the passer, he can play on the edge and he can play in the middle at linebacker – he’s very versatile,” Small said. “Georgia is getting a good one. He’s a high character kid, and he’s a winner on and off the field.”

OVER THE WEEKEND

THIS JUST IN

FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE

MORE RECRUITING

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

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90 comments Add your comment

Jason in Gainesville

September 4th, 2012
3:10 am

Well done, Sir. Cant wait to see you in red and black next year!

guy

September 4th, 2012
3:10 am

That’s what life is all about,hope and compassion.All that really matters is for all to do the right things.UGA should be proud to have a man like CMR.

Dawg TX

September 4th, 2012
3:11 am

IF HE HAD BBEEN COMMITTED TO NICK SABAN, HE WOULD’VE BEEN PROCESSED JUST LIKE JUSTIN TAYLOR. ALABAMA DON”T CARE ABOUT PLAYERS AFTER THEY GET INJURED. I CANT’ BELIEVE THESE KIDS STILL KEEP SIGNING WITH THE EVIL EMPIRE. THEY ARE DRINKING THE COOLAIDE

Midtown Dawg

September 4th, 2012
6:28 am

One of the best recruiting stories I have read in awhile. Congrats to Reggie for being such a great kid and having such a great night.

BobDawg

September 4th, 2012
6:38 am

Way to go, Reggie! Congrats on a great night!

STOP WITH THE SABAN RANTS….We all know the deal over there…

Paula

September 4th, 2012
6:49 am

Michael, your blog is called “College Recruting”, but it seems to really be all about “DAWG Love”. Really, the title of this blog needs to be changed, or better yet taken over by someone who can talk about college recruting without the DAWG lovefest.

bad brad

September 4th, 2012
7:01 am

Paula, go back to Alabama. This is a great story but there’s always some nitwit trying to hate.

Destin Dawg

September 4th, 2012
7:26 am

good kid , great attitude… feel good story !!

Great job!

September 4th, 2012
7:28 am

Proud of you Reggie! You can do this. See you between the hedges my man.

ole dawg

September 4th, 2012
7:42 am

Congratulations Mr. Carter! My son had the same ACL deal when he was in 10th grade. Suffered injury at practice. I know the long and lonely road you traveled to get back on that field. Tough rehabbing by yourself and watching practices. Missing the game probably allowed you to see how much you love it. Glad to have you in the Dawg nation!!!

BILLY JACK

September 4th, 2012
8:33 am

IF THIS KID WAS COMMITED TO ALABAMA AND GOT INJURED- SABAN WOULD NEVER HONOR HIS COMMITMENT.

Dawg Fud

September 4th, 2012
8:45 am

Rooting for you, Reggie.

I-DOG

September 4th, 2012
8:47 am

I am LOVING this. As I have been pleading… UGA needs to put this in writing to their recruits and when they are head to head with another school ask the recruit and more importantely his parents if the OTHER school (Florida, USC, Bama, Auburn) will match what they put in writing. We won’t grayshirt and we won’t take away your scholly because of injury.

In this case, the player himself had a serious injury and he stated that the fact that UGA has a history of sticking with their offer even if the player has a serious injury (even if it is doubtful he will ever play again at a high level) is a key reason he picked UGA.

Even though many 18 year olds feel bullet proof, as football players they all know that their next play may be their last. They all realize that an injury can happen and we need to market this and sell this unique feature of the UGA program.

bjohnDawg

September 4th, 2012
8:49 am

Great story!

kingdaddy

September 4th, 2012
8:50 am

MC
Great story about a good kid. Hope he has a awesome year and keeps his grades up…

toomer

September 4th, 2012
8:51 am

Speaks volumes for the kind of man that Mark Richt us.

DawginLex

September 4th, 2012
9:06 am

Great story. Awesome for this kid to play a game like that in the 1st game back.

TIDE ROLL

September 4th, 2012
9:11 am

That’s a nice story. The AJC really needs to look at the REHAB of Anthony Jennings. He played his ENTIRE JR. season on a torn cartlidge. The night before he was operated on he went for 19 points for Marietta’s basketball team. After that he went through extensive rehab in order to compete in the Elite 11 regionals which he won while still not being 100%. This year, he started his Sr. Season by accumulating over 350 yards total offense vs. Newnan. Not including a 25 yard touchdown reception. He froze UGA commit Tray Matthews on a 26 yard touchdown run. And after the game Newnan’s head coach said,”IF THERE’S A BETTER QUARTERBACK IN THE STATE, WE DON’T WANT TO FACE HIM.” Then, last week, after missing on his first pass, Jennings proceeded to complete his next 18 STRAIGHT. His next incompletion came with 2:00 minutes left in the 3rd quarter!. He ran for two TDs, and passed for two, and accumulated over 300 yards total offense. He’s 6′2″ 210 lbs with room to grow. His father played at UGA and Jennings grew up a DAWG fan! In spite of this, Richt and Booboo, in their infinite wisdom, failed to offer, so the kid commits to Les Miles and the LSU Tigers, winners of two National Titles in recent years. This is the very reason UGA under Richt and, in particular, Bobo, will NEVER win a National Title. 32 years, and like the Eveready Bunny, still going and going and going.

GeoffDawg

September 4th, 2012
9:11 am

Great story and best of luck to him his senior year in High School. As a side note, 19 tackles and a sack and they still gave up 35 points? Was he the only one out there?

GeoffDawg

September 4th, 2012
9:14 am

Paula, there are these things called “links” under a column titled “Recent Posts” that will direct you to non-Georgia related stories. Please see your way out.

zbulldawg

September 4th, 2012
9:17 am

See there is some good news in college recruiting !! Only thing is it’s mostly about UGA & I know these followers can’t stand that !! GREAT news Reggie. Another great story is that of Jarvis Jones. Southern Cal. had more or less dumped him because of a injury. So look at him now Reggie !! So you some Reggie !! Get all you want !! LET THE BIG DAWG EAT

jaxdawg

September 4th, 2012
9:23 am

This is one of the reasons we only have 69 deserving scholarship players on our roster right now. I think this is a great story and I wish the best for the kid, but if I were the coach I would have taken a “wait and see” approach before honoring his scholarship offer. We’ve been burned too many times before.

KBP

September 4th, 2012
9:26 am

Tide Roll. . . . Look at UGA depth chart at qb. Possibly 1 more year with Murray, 2 years with Mason, 2 years with LeMay. Jennings may not touch the field until 2017? Go to LSU and if he’s as good as you describe, then maybe become Mettenberger’s back up and then takeover in 2014. By the way, I am a Dawg fan.

TIDE ROLL

September 4th, 2012
9:28 am

Hey Dawg fans. Can you imagine Gurley running behind this offensive line? LT Kenarious Gates, LG Mark Beard, Center, Chris Burnette ( in the name of all that is holy Richt!), RG. MIKE THORNTON ( a straight beast wasting away as your 3rd team nose tackle!), and RT Xzavier Ward ( “best offensive lineman he’s ever coached” per Rush Propst!). Gurley would be a Heisman candidiate, you guys would wear Missouri out, and here’s something new and foreign to you, COMPETE FOR A NATIONAL TITLE. Instead, the richt/Booboo braintrust opt for a 5′10″ 270 lb. private school product at Center because according to Richt, “he knows who to put a hat on”. An undersized left guard who doesn’t belong at this level, and a True Freshman at right tackle, who my grandmother, no, correct that, my great grandmother, could beat in the 40. This is why you’ll never get there under Richt and Bobo, and Friend and Inman, Tereshinski and McGarity and on and on and on. Not with personnel decisions like these. Not with the type of Athletes now playing defense in the SEC.There’s simply no way.

TIDE ROLL

September 4th, 2012
9:37 am

Jennings is better than Murray, Mason and Lemay. and Booboo knows it. Murray leaves after this year. Mason transfers. Lemay and Jennings duke it out for the starter’s role. As we all know, this will never happen with Bobo there, and, as such, a National title for the Dawgs…. will never happen. 32 friggin comfortable years, of doing the same thing over and over and over. The more things change up there, the more things stay the same. Yawn.

Whiskey Breath

September 4th, 2012
9:44 am

Do you think Alabama is the greatest National Champion ever?
I think we are way past that dynasty thing.

Whiskey Breath

September 4th, 2012
9:46 am

Tide Roll, you rock!

claytondawg

September 4th, 2012
9:50 am

@Tide Roll…You, sir, are exactly RIGHT!! Big GA fan here but not of several of our coaches. We have the talent to compete and win. However, the coaching is very suspect at best.

He Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

September 4th, 2012
10:00 am

You can also lose to all ranked teams and get laughed at by the rest of the country.

He Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

September 4th, 2012
10:02 am

BTW, perhaps you guys should only be allowed to yell, “BAMA/LSU” after non-conference victories. After last year and Buffalo hanging with you for three quarters, you are an embarrasment.

You brag about feel good let me hug you stories while the real SEC teams are the reason you’ve had anything to brag about the last 30 years.

The Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

September 4th, 2012
10:03 am

And if it was a such a big deal, wouldn’t you have signed the top two recruits in your state.

Laughable.

MATT

September 4th, 2012
10:11 am

HE LOOKS LIKE A LIL DENT NOW WITH THE FALCONS.

Bubba King

September 4th, 2012
10:15 am

The Turd is Trolling and Nothing can stop it…..You are an idiot…UGA was up 45-16 and Buffalo tacked on a TD against the b-teamers in Garbage time…I would have liked to see the Line dominate better, but the pass rush was good and the QB picked up 85 yards on broken pass protection…UGA could have scored 60+ had the starters stayed in….Grantham showed no blitz packages…not showing his hand for Mizzou this week…Go Dawgs!!!!

DAWG ONE

September 4th, 2012
10:18 am

I am proud of my university for honoring this young man’s scolly, and proud that he had the will and desire to work hard enough to get back to this level. Congratulations to him and to UGA for showing the integrity all alums desire.
Winning is not always everything.

Fleischman in Chi Towns Bed

September 4th, 2012
10:20 am

College Recruiting blog = UGA cheerleaders

TEXAS DAWG

September 4th, 2012
10:25 am

I love those “smart” tide fans. I learned something new after reading TIDE ROLL’s post at 9:11. The Energizer bunny must have a twin brother known as the Eveready bunny that also just keeps on going and going.

Post from TIDE ROLL at 9:11 “This is the very reason UGA under Richt and, in particular, Bobo, will NEVER win a National Title. 32 years, and like the Eveready Bunny, still going and going and going”

Bwell

September 4th, 2012
10:33 am

MC,

This is one of my all time favorites. Great piece. Like someone said earlier…. do you think UGA can put this in writing for future recruits? Awesome piece MC

Drago

September 4th, 2012
11:10 am

Tide Roll loves him some LSU recruits

Dawglasville

September 4th, 2012
11:10 am

The Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it – Our football team may be laughed at by the rest of the country (I doubt it because they ain’t beating Bama either) but your fan base, thanks to guys like you, the tea bagger, Harvey Updike, are being laughed at as well. The more you guys win, the bigger the stereotype your base becomes. Many of you act as if you are one of Saban’s many “consultants.” It’s not all of you, but guys like you really stand out.

sting_em

September 4th, 2012
11:13 am

As much as I hate the Bulldogs, I have respect for Richt as a person and coach. He does his job with integrity unlike the Saban, Miles, Kiffen,…

1eyedJack

September 4th, 2012
11:13 am

Turd Troll is a complete moron. Jennings hasn’t played a down of college ball and you are going to proclaim him the best QB ever? Doofus. And we know you want an all chocolate offensive line/team but that ain’t going to happen. So go cheer for Florida A&M or Grambling or….here’s an idea, go cheer for your own team, Georgia Tech.

Slinky Loser or just call me UGA

September 4th, 2012
11:14 am

Dawg TX

September 4th, 2012
3:11 am
IF HE HAD BBEEN COMMITTED TO NICK SABAN, HE WOULD’VE BEEN PROCESSED JUST LIKE JUSTIN TAYLOR. ALABAMA DON”T CARE ABOUT PLAYERS AFTER THEY GET INJURED. I CANT’ BELIEVE THESE KIDS STILL KEEP SIGNING WITH THE EVIL EMPIRE. THEY ARE DRINKING THE COOLAIDE

What idiots like you do not realize is that Every player that wants an education gets one, and by the way, the kid that this author and everyone else harped on this past signing day is TOO INJURED to play for Kentucky this year, and Joker Phillips says he maybe two years away.

Whiskey Breath

September 4th, 2012
11:19 am

Mike, when are you going to do a feel good story about Nick Saban and Alabama?
I will help you out. The effort they did after the tornado hit was unbelieveable.
Now, you have something to really feel good about.
Feel good stories, that is what I like.

7576DAWG

September 4th, 2012
11:22 am

TIDE ROLL
Quarterback is different than any other position. You pick the Quarterback who your coaches think will do the best and you go after him hard. You try and sign 2 or 3 more good Quarterback’s for back up rolls or they end up as return specialist or move to another position . But they will be lucky to be the Quarterback for one year. If Jennings had not torn his knee up maybe he would have graded out higher than Ramsey but because so many Quarterback’s or running backs who have already had one knee operated on don’t make it very long without more problem from the old injury or develop a new problem our coaches couldn’t take the chance on their future starter at Quarterback. Where ever Ramsey ended up he was going to start , probably for at least three years including Alabama. Ramsey has a very high probability of playing Pro ball and every coach knows it. Jennings is probably 50-50 at best. Only time will prove if CMR and Bobo was right but my money is on Ramsey.

Holy Guacamole

September 4th, 2012
11:46 am

Why does anyone bother to respond to Tide Roll? I don’t even read his racist posts anymore, just move on to the next.

This is a good article about the character of the UGA recruiting and coaching staff, something not often found elsewhere in the SEC.

Good article M.C.

Rick James

September 4th, 2012
11:50 am

Where are the Georgia Tech trolls today?

1eyedJack

September 4th, 2012
12:04 pm

“Where are the Georgia Tech trolls today?”

Licking their…..wounds?

Ken Stallings

September 4th, 2012
12:04 pm

There is no reason every college football coach in America cannot show that same kind of committment. There is also no reason why the NCAA cannot mandate it. I understand about the LOI. I understand that plenty of recruits back out of committments. But, the simple truth is that committment means just that and good people can rise above the lack of integrity others show.

Mark Richt is one who rises above it. Good for him!

Whiskey Breath

September 4th, 2012
12:25 pm

Good article? Gee. players get hurt in high school and rehab, and the coaches honor
their scholly. Yea, that is rare. And only Richt and Ga has ever done this.
You guys are really pathetic.

Under The Bleachers

September 4th, 2012
12:25 pm

Ken Stallings

September 4th, 2012
12:04 pm
There is no reason every college football coach in America cannot show that same kind of committment. There is also no reason why the NCAA cannot mandate it. I understand about the LOI. I understand that plenty of recruits back out of committments. But, the simple truth is that committment means just that and good people can rise above the lack of integrity others show.

Mark Richt is one who rises above it. Good for him

I think there is a Greater Chance that players will recieve a stipend long before the NCAA will MANDATE that student athletes who HAVE NOT entered a School Yet are guaranteed a full scholarship. The second thing is the NCAA does allow and every school I know of puts any and all kids who are in good academic standing and injured on full scholarship just as if they were still playing their sport.

Personally, I think we GIVE too many things to people who do not want to work for it.