If this week on the recruiting trail was any indication, LSU continued to reap the benefits of its national championship season, extending its reach beyond Louisiana borders for another commitment.
For the third time this week, the Tigers secured an out-of-state commitment when four-star defensive end/outside linebacker Zavier Carter of Hapeville Charter in Atlanta issued a commitment Friday morning.
“I committed because of the coaches there and the personal connection with me and Coach O,” Carter told Rivals.com of LSU head coach Ed Orgeron. “He recruited me personally from the beginning and that meant a lot to me, too. That played a role in my decision. Having that connection with the head coach shows me a lot about him and what I meant to him.”
Carter said after talking with Orgeron earlier this week, he came away with a better understanding of how his versatile skill set would be utilized in LSU’s new 4-3 defense under defensive coordinator Bo Pelini.
“I had a lot of great schools recruiting me, and I feel like Kentucky, Georgia Tech and Alabama and others are all great programs,” Carter told Rivals.com. “But LSU is the one I feel is best for me.
“LSU has always been a top school for me. Me knowing (former LSU and Hapeville Charter standout) Arden Key has always had LSU in my mind, so I can say I have liked them from the beginning.”
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Carter, a projected defensive end at LSU, selected the Tigers from a scholarship offers list in excess of 25 schools – a group that also included Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina from the SEC along with Georgia Tech, Florida State, Oregon, Michigan and Notre Dame.
“Uses hands effectively to maximize length and keep blockers off his body,” 247Sports national recruiting analyst Barton Simmons. “Good reactive quickness. Slippery as a pass rusher. Good motor in pursuit.”
Carter – the nation’s No. 202 overall prospect and No. 15 outside linebacker – becomes the eighth commitment in LSU’s Class of 2021 and fifth pledge from a defensive player.
Carter, the No. 19 player in Georgia, helped to push the Tigers ranking to No. 15 in 247Sports’ national list after they also picked up commitments earlier in the week from wide receiver JoJo Earle of Aledo, Texas and defensive end Landon Jackson of Texarkana, Texas.
During his two-year varsity career at Hapeville Charter, Carter has registered 65 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 7 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Carter, also a member of the school’s basketball team, enjoyed a solid junior season in 2019 with 41 tackles, 4 sacks and 3 tackles for loss.
He made an unofficial visit to LSU during last year’s 56-20 victory over Arkansas and followed that with another unofficial visit in early March before the coronavirus pandemic shut down on-campus recruiting.
“You’re getting a highly motivated kid,” Carter’s head coach Winston Gordon at Hapeville Charter told Rivals.com. “He hasn’t even touched his ceiling yet with his skill set and some of things that he can do.
“You’re also getting a great person,” Gordon said. “I think he’s a dynamic person and I think he’ll be a great asset to the Baton Rouge community.”