ATHENS -- Lorenzo Carter spent a good deal of his summer being told to be humble, which is generally a good problem to have.
He arrived at Georgia as the most-hyped member of the football team’s freshman class. He was a Parade All-American, a USA Today first-teamer and a five-star prospect.
The hype didn’t go away when preseason practice began, as reports from teammates and coaches quickly made it apparent that the outside linebacker was having the expected impact.
“They call his name a lot,” fellow freshman Malkom Parrish said.
There appear to be two sides to Georgia’s latest defensive phenom. On the field, he uses his blend of size (6-foot-6 and 230 pounds) and athleticism to be a force during drills. He even got in a tussle with junior offensive tackle John Theus.
“You have to carry yourself with a certain swagger,” Carter said. “I feel like if you’re ranked a 1-star or a 5-star, if you don’t have that swagger about yourself, then you won’t be very productive.”
Off the field, however, Carter has gained a different reputation, the kind that would make Leo and Lisa Carter proud.
“My parents always told me, ‘When you first get somewhere, just sit back and observe. Don’t go anywhere and run your mouth,’ ” Carter said Tuesday. “I came here, and I’m still here just sitting and observing, watching what everybody else does, just seeing where I fit in and my place at UGA.”
Right now, his place appears to be on the field, despite established depth at his position.
Jordan Jenkins is a junior with 10 career sacks. Leonard Floyd is a sophomore who led Georgia with 6.5 sacks last year. Both are primed for big seasons and candidates to be in the NFL.
But Carter might just be too good to not play. So whether it’s subbing for Jenkins or Floyd or playing with them in a different alignment, look for Carter to be out there at some point against Clemson on Aug. 30.
“(Defensive coordinator Jeremy) Pruitt came in with a lot of great schemes, and I feel like there’s a chance that they put a lot of speed on the field,” Carter said. “And if I’m doing what I need to do, Coach is gonna see that I have a lot of speed, and if he feels like it, he can put me in.”
That was the analytical side of Carter, a Norcross product. His “nasty streak” during practices -- as Theus put it -- apparently hasn’t alienated teammates. Even Theus went on to call him a “nice kid.”
Carter resembles Floyd (6-4, 220) in size. But Carter is closer to Jenkins in personality. Both are outgoing and talkative.
“People say me and Jordan are the weird ones,” Carter said.
Jenkins was a major recruit himself three years ago, so he knows what it’s like to deal with pressure and expectations. Carter is handling it just fine, he said.
“He’s got a real laid-back personality,” Jenkins said, smiling. “But I don’t think he lets it pressure him. I just think he’s ready to go out there, learn the defense, and just get in the rotation, and do what’s expected and do what’s asked of him.”