“He’s a competitor and he’s a great player,” senior wide receiver Austin Proehl said. “He came in early and he’s learned the offense and been competing ever since.”
Carter — who is actually a 5-foot-9, 195-pound running back, despite what his virtual career suggests — tallied 94 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries in North Carolina’s opening game loss to California on Saturday. He came off the bench behind sophomore Jordon Brown and had two plays that headlined his debut: a 47-yard dash in which he navigated through blocks on the strong side of the field (which eventually set up one of his two touchdowns that same drive), and a nine-yard run capped off by a leap over two Golden Bear defenders and a tumble into the pylon.
Most of the snaps he was on the field for — including his two highlights — were out of the pistol. And, in fact, both of his scores were actually pitch-options, where he and quarterback Chazz Surratt isolated and read a California defensive end to advance into the second layer of the opposition’s defense.
Carter said that his experience of lining up in the shotgun, pistol and behind the quarterback under center in high school made Saturday’s transition seem “natural.”
Fedora said he was excited about Carter’s prospects after his first game proved to be a success.
“He was solid throughout — he really was,” Fedora said. “He wasn’t big-eyed or overwhelmed by anything. He was pretty calm and ran the ball hard and made some nice plays.”
Carter comes from a pedigree of football players. His father, Dwayne Carter, played for South Carolina State, and his brother, Dwayne Carter II, played running back at Harding University before graduating in 2016.
But that’s not who Carter was compared to after his impressive Tar Heel debut. Instead, he drew comparisons to former first team all-ACC running back, Giovani Bernard.
“I think he’s a unique talent,” Carter said, hinting that he wasn’t saying all that was on his mind. “We’re both from Florida, so that’s a cool little fact about it. We’re about the same size. He may be a little bit thicker than me right now, but I’ll catch him.”
Carter is well on his way.