LINCOLN — Nebraska tight end recruit Cethan Carter wasn't getting much attention from the nation's big-time college football programs before his senior year, but he didn't doubt his abilities.
He had doubled as a blocking fullback for Louisiana's Archbishop Rummel High School during his junior season, when he was about 25 pounds lighter and three inches shorter. He caught only six passes that year.
If Carter was frustrated then, he didn't show it.
“He's a very unselfish kid,” Rummel coach Jay Roth said.
College coaches weren't noticing him, though.
So Carter's response in 2012 was simply to work harder, what presumably is the biggest reason for his breakout senior season on the Louisiana Class 5A state championship team. He's now a 6-foot-4, 240-pound prospect, who's still attracting new suitors, though he made an oral commitment to Nebraska on Thursday night.
Miami offered Carter a scholarship Friday. Texas coaches were in town Thursday. Alabama and Arkansas are interested. LSU has extended a grayshirt offer, meaning he wouldn't join the program until 2014.
But Nebraska was the first marquee program on the scene, Roth said. The Husker staff persuaded Carter to tour the Lincoln campus last weekend. Carter made the decision to join the 2013 recruiting class when NU coaches visited his home Thursday night.
“I'm committed to Nebraska,” Carter said, insisting that he has no plans to waver on his nonbinding pledge to NU between now and signing day Feb. 6.
The Huskers could use potential contributors at tight end. Veterans Ben Cotton and Kyler Reed have exhausted their eligibility and are preparing to start their professional careers.
The chance to play early was a positive for Carter. Plus, the tight end's role in NU's offense intrigued him. For two seasons, Carter's been working out of a pro-style attack at Rummel.
Roth said Carter began contributing at fullback two games into his junior season because of his physicality. “He was a vicious blocker,” Roth said.
Carter is used to a run-oriented approach, though his team started to “spread the ball around” a little more this past season, Carter said.
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He had 23 receptions for 418 yards and five touchdowns as a senior, according to the New Orleans Times Picayune. He caught five passes for 74 yards and a touchdown to help Rummel earn a 35-14 win at the state title game last month. He was also named to Louisiana's All-District 9-5A team.
“I always knew what I could do on the field,” Carter said. “I was confident.”
Scout.com and 247 Sports list him as a three-star prospect (out of five), while Rivals.com ranks him as a two-star. ESPN has not rated Carter.
He joins Greg Hart, a 6-5 225-pounder from Dayton, Ohio, as the two tight ends in Nebraska's 21-player 2013 class. The Huskers could add anywhere from four to seven recruits over the next two and a half weeks.
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