Rhode Island defensive back transfer Antonio Carter, a Florida native, grew up in Orlando wanting to play for the Gators. He now has an opportunity to make his dream a reality.
“Florida’s been my dream school growing up and then they’ve had a history of putting out DBs,” Carter told On3’s Matt Zenitz. “They’re going through their struggles right now, but they’ve always been a really good program.”
The Gators have had 12 defensive backs drafted since 2016, including eight players in the first two rounds and four first-round picks in Vernon Hargreaves III, Keanu Neal, CJ Henderson and Kaiir Elam.
UF is replacing their starting nickel and both safeties, and Carter could help fill that void. He was a two-year starter at Rhode Island and has the position versatility to play every spot in the secondary.
As a starting cornerback last year, he posted 60 tackles, 10 pass breakups and an interception. He finished the 2021 season with 52 tackles, one sack, seven pass breakups, one forced fumble in 10 starts.
Since entering the portal on April 16, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Carter has received more than 20 offers, including Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Notre Dame and Texas A&M. The Gators did their homework first.
Carter has been in communication with UF longer than other schools, but interest from the Gators picked up even more after they requested and received videos of Carter working out and doing field work.
Carter sent the videos to Florida’s staff Monday.
“I sent the videos and they loved them,” Carter said. “So that’s when they showed way more interest.”
Competition for Antonio Carter
Carter, who has already visited Wisconsin and Ole Miss, had previously been planned to visit Texas A&M, Kentucky and Iowa. However, he will no longer be taking those trips after landing offers from Florida, LSU and Notre Dame in the past week.
Carter told Zenitz he will arrive in South Bend on Wednesday to check out the Irish before visiting LSU and Florida. He started making contact with the Tigers this week.
“It’s kind of a quick decision I had to make,” Carter said of changing his visit plans. “LSU, always putting DBs in the league, and it’s kind of a business decision for me and I’m willing to go in and compete.
“And if those visits don’t go well, then I still have schools that I’ve already seen that I like as well.”
Carter is looking to make a decision around May 20.
“That’s kind of my goal,” Carter said. “If not, not too long after that because I’m trying to get to whatever school I’m going to be at and start learning and getting used to the playbook.”
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