Hello: Tamani Carter Comment Count

Tim January 20th, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Well... this one caught me by surprise. The Wolverine is reporting that OH CB Tamani Carter (a recent commit to Minnesota) has switched his commitment to the Wolverines. Carter hails from Pickerington Central, the Columbus suburb that gave us the likes of Justin Boren (who attended North).





Scout Rivals ESPN
3*, #104 CB 3*, 5.5, NR CB 2*, 74, #151 CB

The recruiting sites are in sliiiight disagreement on his height, with the majority coming to a consensus of about 5-11. All three sites list his weight as 175 pounds. We'll start with ESPN's evaluation:

Carter is a quick-footed skill prospect with very good athleticism... On defense, he transitions and closes the cushion quickly. Shows good underneath burst jumping routes in zone schemes... Has good extension, timing and leaping skills making him a very effective defender on the jump-ball. While fluid with good footwork, we do feel like he will be challenged in man-to-man coverage at the major college level. Appears quicker than fast and lacks great explosiveness and top-end speed needed to recover vertically. May struggle to press and set the edge on run support until he builds up his upper-body... Overall, Carter is a fluid athlete with great ball skills. Lacks game-changing attributes when projecting for major college level but will add good versatility and athleticism to a future roster.

They also evaluate him as a slot receiver on offense, but believe me, Michigan doesn't need more of those. Their overall evaluation seems to be "solid, BCS-level talent, but not a difference-maker at the BCS level." This is an odd evaluation considering their rankings of "hey, maybe this guy can play D-1 football." I imagine the lower end of their rankings are still being updated (the new 150 came out yesterday).

Scout has comments from the kid himself:

“I cover really well. I have great hips and closing speed. I also play offense and I’m very explosive. I want to improve my speed. And I’m still working on my feet. Overall, I’d like to get bigger and stronger.”

That's right in line with ESPN's evaluation, right down to saying he's quicker than he is fast.

Tamani also has his own website, praising mostly his work ethic, intensity, and academics. It also clips a few reviews of his game:

He's quick, changes directions well and showed good ball skills, making the breaks without drawing interference... He's a guy who we may have underrated some...

Carter may be one to watch in the future.

Yay for that. GopherHole's interview states that he also runs track.


Carter was committed to Minnesota before switching to Michigan, so he obviously held an offer from Jerry Kill's Gophers. Rivals also lists Air Force, Arizona, Iowa, Kent State, Stanford, and 1-AA Youngstown State.

A couple schools on that list (most notably Iowa and Stanford) have a recent history of developing under-the-radar prospects into stars, particularly in the defensive backfield in Iowa's case.


Scout has senior stats:

Tamani Carter finished his senior season (11-1) with 55 tackles and three interceptions. Two of those were returned for touchdowns (one of 96 yards and the other for 34 yards). He also caught 25 balls for over 300 yards.

Those are solid numbers, but it's hard to evaluate the stats of high school defensive backs, since there is such a wide variety of offenses faced.

ESPN says he had 5 picks, including one returned for a touchdown, as a junior.


Rivals and Scout both list him with a precise 4.48 40-yard dash time. That's quite good, but not exceptional, for a defensive back. Considering the book on Carter (very quick) and the level of agreement between the sites, I'm forced to give a mere one FAKE out of five.




Michigan started several freshman defensive backs last season, and Carter's scouting reports say that he needs to bulk up before being ready to contribute at the next level. That screams "redshirt," and I think that's a likely outcome for Carter's freshman year.

Even as a redshirt freshman, I think Michigan has enough athletic guys that even time on special teams will be hard to come by. As a redshirt sophomore, however, he might start getting serious special teams time, and as a redshirt junior and redshirt senior, he should work into the rotation on defense.

He's a solid player who will probably never be a star, but rather a role player.


As Tom tweeted, this is an odd commitment, considering Michigan has multiple DBs visiting in the next couple weeks. Those guys are more ready to contribute immediately, and unlike Carter, are not similar body types to several of Michigan's DBs already on the roster (Terrence Talbott and Courtney Avery are both average-to-small corners that are pretty thin).

This likely means that Michigan only feels good about their chances with, say, one of those defensive backs, and that somebody we haven't been expecting to play safety - either somebody on the roster (Cullen Christian) or a commit (Greg Brown) - will do so. Remaining DB commits in this class are likely to be looked at for safety as well.



January 20th, 2011 at 10:51 AM ^

Tim is really busy writing Hello posts for guys like Kris Frost, Darian Cooper, Stefan McClure, Frank Clark, Aundrey Walker, and maybe Lamar Dawson. He is also trying to catch up on random prospects that are now appearing out of thin air. Mattison went straight to the recruiting trail and brought a case of Snake Oil.
<br>The Fog of War is very dense right now.


January 20th, 2011 at 10:25 AM ^

Love getting another DB. Hope we get Floyd Raven, too. Carter is clearly a safety. I believe Raven will be, also (6'2''!?). We could use two safeties, definitely.

That gives us Countess, Brown, and Hollowell for CBs - which we need, too.



January 20th, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^

I believe Hoke will do well in Ohio.

But I am waiting until we finally take a guy that OSU was interested in before I say Hoke hits Ohio. I was a big RR supporter early and tried to see the positive in everything he did. But my first stuffy "This is not Michigan football" moment came I saw he had signed NINE Ohioans last year and not one of them had an offer from the Buckeyes.


January 20th, 2011 at 11:27 AM ^

That's been a problem for a long time now, seemingly ever since Sweater-vest came in.  I remember from the Maple Street Press preview a long article about how Michigan recruiting almost gave up on Ohio under Lloyd.  It's going to take time to rebuild those relationships as well as enough of a rep in Ohio to get those guys again.


January 20th, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

This is like if Amani Toomer had a baby, and meanwhile Anthony Carter had a baby.  And by some mircale those babies met, and fucked - this is the guy they'd birth. 

If only he was a WR.


January 20th, 2011 at 10:33 AM ^

It's so nice to watch a DB who actually closes on a receiver and makes a hit.  I'd like to see more fundamentally sound tackling, but he looks like he's going to be a solid player.  Dynamic eye for the ball.


Congrats Tamani, and Go Blue!!

Section 1

January 20th, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

That's Zach and Jacoby Boren's high school.  Not Justin's high school (Pickerington North).  Zach was pulled out of North, and enrolled at Central by psycho-dad Mike.  (Remind anybody of anything?)

It might be fun to get Tamani Carter on campus and get some Boren "family values" stories.


January 20th, 2011 at 10:37 AM ^

Sam Webb was speculating that the reason we're going after DBs still is because on the roster we actually don't have very many true safeties.  We have many hybrid, tweener types due to the 3-3-5 scheme.  As far as true free safeties go, we have basically Vinopal.  Carvin Johnson and M. Robinson are sort of hybrid types that might be strong safeties if we play a 4-3.

So basically, I think Hoke is recruiting free safeties because right now we only have 1, and he isn't very good at this point, no disrespect.