Among the biggest keys to the secondary improving this year…
Name: Ja’Had Carter
Position: Defensive back
Weight: 191 lbs.
Hometown: Richmond, Va.
High School: Jireh Prep Academy
2020 stats: Carter was thrust into the limelight for the Syracuse Orange last year, and actually responded pretty well. He started 10 games at safety, was second on the team in tackles with 67 while tacking on two picks, three TFLs and a forced fumble.
2021 projections: With a year under his belt, you could see Carter take some leaps forward in year two. He’s a likely starter at safety once again and last year’s experience for the entire secondary should pay some dividends despite their relative youth.
How’d he get here?: At one point back in 2019, he was all set to head to Virginia Tech. But then he took the year at North Carolina Jireh Prep instead, and picked Syracuse over Texas Tech, FAU and Marshall.
What’d recruiting sites say?: Three stars from 247Sports and ESPN, because they knew what they were talking about. Unfortunately, Rivals was in the dark and only gave him two.
Money quote: Wise words from Dino on what Ja’Had and Rob Hanna needed to do in order to try and slow Clemson’s Travis Etienne down last year —
“… you’re going to hit Etienne and after you hit him the first time you’re going to think, ‘I don’t know if I want to hit this guy or not. Now there were some plays like that. But there were some other plays where they found a way to get him down. That’s what you have to do with a big-time tailback. Don’t worry about how you look. Just make sure when the play is over he’s on the ground because God made him special and just tackling him is hard.”
Twitter feed: @jayalmighty6
Tweets of wonder: Babers can be cryptic at times.
Babers mentions that Ja’Had Carter has constantly told him about a certain player on offense that has gotten much better. Babers doesn’t mention who that offensive player is.
— Christian De Guzman (@CTDeGuz) April 28, 2021
What movie would Dino recommend for him?: Actor Jim Carter played Ralph Bashford in 1998’s Shakespeare in Love. It took home a slew of Oscars in 1999, including best picture, best actress, best supporting actress and best writing for an original screenplay, among others.
Interesting nugget o’interest: Ja’Had is a big fan of the Joker — though seems like it’s more the Heath Ledger version than the more recent portrayal by Joaquin Phoenix. His commitment tweet from Syracuse illustrated him as the Joker, and his Twitter feed includes a headerr image of the Joker from The Dark Knight.
Let’s get a look at ya: Perhaps you recall this electrifying (and potentially unnecessary) play from last season?