Safety Pride is a major thing at the University of Utah. Over the last 15-plus years, Utah has had a very proud tradition of turning out quality safeties. With the likes of NFL All-Pro Eric Weddle, Steve Tate, Robert Johnson, Morgan Scalley, and many more, Utah has had a great run of ball hawking, big play negating safeties. Incoming, one-to-play-one safety, Tevin Carter is hoping to add to the great tradition at Utah. If he lives up to expectations, he'll be a welcome addition to a secondary that struggled in 2013.
Carter comes to Utah out of LA Southwest College and was originally supposed to be on campus last summer, but academic issues kept him from joining the Utes. The Utah coaching staff still saw enough in Carter to bring him in, even for just one season. At LASC he tallied 94 tackles, five interceptions, eight pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in two seasons. Carter actually committed to Cal out of high school as a wide receiver, but quit the team. Then Cal coach, Jeff Tedford didn't know if if Carter wanted to keep playing football.
With the addition of Tevin Carter, Kalani Sitake should be able to move former freshman All America, Eric Rowe, to cornerback, further shoring up the defensive secondary. Carter should be able to partner up with either Brian Blechen, coming off of a medical redshirt season, Joseph Bryant, and incoming freshman out of Florida, Andre Godfrey.
Carter, according to coach Morgan Scalley, actually beat DeAnthony Thomas in track in High School. With that kind of speed, around a 4.3 or 4.4 40-yard dash, Utah has a body in the backend that can keep up with the incredible speed of Pac-12 wide receivers. Also, if you watch the embedded video, he is one hell of a tackler. He squares up and isn't scared to bring someone down, and he does a good job supporting the run defense. He also has shown, in his highlights anyway, a great ability to adjust and make a play on the ball while it's in the air, an ability that this secondary has been needing for the last two seasons.
Tevin Carter is going to be crucial to Utah's success on the defensive side of the ball in 2014, not only with his play making ability but also with depth. Currently, Utah doesn't appear to have a ton of depth on the defensive side of the ball. With all the injuries in the linebacking corps, Utah is already on thin ice with which bodies they have to place where. Carter did miss spring ball after having ankle surgery, but as long as he gets healthy by fall camp, the Utah secondary will have a potential major player in the mix. Word is that last season, if he would have made it to campus, he would have walked onto campus a starter at one of the safety positions. That sentiment should hold going into 2014.
If Carter comes in as advertised, Safety Pride will be further bolstered, and another name will be added to the pantheon of great safeties to wear the crimson and white. With Carter patrolling center field, opposing offenses will have to seriously consider accounting for him on every play.