With cornerback Jason Pinnock’s commitment Tuesday, the focus of Pitt’s defensive recruiting will likely shift to the defensive line until National Signing Day. The Panthers have yet to receive a pledge from a single defensive tackle prospect this recruiting cycle, but will look to remedy that when they play host to Kam Carter this weekend. Carter, a 6’5” 310-pound junior college recruit from East Mississippi Community College, will make an official visit to Pitt just over a week after receiving an offer from the Panthers. In an interview with Pittsburgh Sports Now, Carter revealed that Pat Narduzzi and his staff will have to sell their program to more than just him this weekend if they want to land his commitment.
“I’m trying to see how everything is going to work for my family,” said Kam. “Gotta see if they like it—the feel and vibes they get for it. Then I’ll be able to speak from there. Everything depends on if my family is behind the decision.”
Other than where they will have dinner once in town, Kam doesn’t know what the Pitt staff has in store for their recruits this weekend. He does know, though, the approach that he and his family will assume while viewing all that the University of Pittsburgh has to offer.
“I know my mom is always on academics. That’s how it’s always been. We call ourselves an all-star lineup. Mom takes care of the academics. Pops takes care of the athletics. And I just do the rest. So we just gotta all be there and be a complete package.”
Kam, a native of Maryland, will be one of many recruits visiting this weekend. As a recent offeree, he has not had time to develop relationships with the other recruits that will join him in the upcoming days. This does not bother Carter though, since other players will not factor into his decision during the defensive tackle’s second go-around with the recruiting process. Last year, Kam transferred to East Mississippi Community College following his dismissal from Penn State for an undisclosed violation of team rules. The Class of 2015 4-star recruit will now take it upon himself to make things right.
“I just keep to myself,” Kam explained. “I’m one of those kind of guys. I put myself in a situation where I had to go to junior college, and I did that by myself, so I gotta handle this business by myself.”
Upon offering, the Panthers’ staff quickly established that they want Pitt to be where Carter will play next season. On Monday afternoon, defensive coordinator Josh Conklin visited Kam to discuss the plans that the Panthers hold for him, should he choose to play in the Blue and Gold.
“He just came and talked to me a little bit what [Pitt’s] about. You know, how I can help the program—stuff like that. Told me basically I’m going to have an impact role on the team.”
Kam stated that his relationship with Coach Conklin to this point has been “good.” He intends to build upon that relationship in the upcoming weeks as part of the recruiting process, and the growth of their relationship may factor into the defensive tackle’s decision. Carter revealed that in his first experience with the recruiting process, another defensive coordinator—or rather, former defensive coordinator—made quite the impression on him. That defensive coordinator was Pat Narduzzi, and Carter anticipates reigniting the bond he formed with the former Michigan State man this weekend.
“Coach Narduzzi, man—that was my dude even when he was at Michigan State,” said Kam. “I don’t know if you know, but back in high school it came down to between Penn State and Michigan State. Me and Coach Narduzzi just built that relationship back in high school, so we’re kind of rekindling that relationship.”
Carter recently concluded his lone season at East Mississippi Community College. On the year, he registered 36 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 interception. He also used his time at East Mississippi to develop the skills that will allow him to reach “unblockable” status in the upcoming years.
“I tried to play with my hands more often,” said Kam. “My coach always told me, ‘Kam, if you would just play with your hands every time, you’d be unblockable.’ That’s what the coaches told me. So I’ve showed that in my film—showing that when I use my hands, I’m unblockable.
Following his visit to Pitt, Kam will assess whether or not visiting other schools is necessary. He intends upon approaching the rest of his recruitment as a step-by-step process, with Pitt being the next step along the way.
“I’m going to take it one week at a time, and make my decision when I feel it’s the best time,” he said. “I’m really just taking this whole thing one step at a time.”
While Carter’s interest in Pitt definitely appears strong, he insists no leaders have emerged in his recruitment. At this point, it remains an equal playing field for the defensive tackle’s commitment.
“Everybody’s got a 50% chance, honestly, whether it’s Louisville, Virginia Tech, Texas, Texas A&M, any of those schools. Alabama, one of those schools, they all got a 50% chance. I’ll know probably by February 1st what I want to do for sure.”
February 1st will be here soon, but many “steps” in Kam Carter’s recruiting will take place before then. Pittsburgh Sports Now looks forward to keeping up with Carter along the way.