Hello: Tamani Carter

Submitted by Tim on 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 11:10 AM ^

The feeling I got to reading this post was familiar to the one I had from a lot of other RR recruits:

"Oh! We got a new recruit! Oh. He sound like kindava . . . CMU/Indy/Minny/Cinci-type guy. Umm. We do need bodies. Maybe he'll be good?"

We do need bodies. Maybe he'll be good?




January 20th, 2011 at 11:26 AM ^

Judging by his highlight tape, either he's pretty good and vastly underrated or he should've stepped up his level of competition.(Hopefully the first one)  Guess we'll see when he gets a taste of our receiving corps


January 20th, 2011 at 11:41 AM ^

Now the band is going to have to learn to play "Hail To The Chief" when the new President  Carter goes on the field.

On another note; watching his game film, on Tamani Carter's run for the long TD return, who 1s that speedy guy who runs down the middle of the field and gives a block around the ten yard line? Somebody get that kids name and number. Man, that kid is fast. We need speed like that in our backfield.


January 20th, 2011 at 11:58 AM ^

Is there a chance that this is a depth commit?

Solid, but not incredibly high rated - not likely to be a star? Check.

Several offers, but only one or two major ones? Check.

Willingness to do "whatever the coaching staff wants him to?" Check.

Fills a position that has been decimated by injuries, transfers, and off-field issues? Check.

Presence of an Angry Michigan Secondary Hating God, so there's a possibility that more things can go wrong? Check.

Yeah, sounds like a depth commit.

Heinous Wagner

January 20th, 2011 at 12:12 PM ^

Perhaps the greatest value of this commit is that it breaks the ice, in a Pudge Rodriguez kind of way. Mr. Carter is the first player to say "yes" to the new regime, clearing the way for more to follow.  Next, I'll take that Wile E. Coyote kicker and after that a QB.


January 20th, 2011 at 12:39 PM ^

ESPN's position ranking is as an "Athlete."  I think that actually makes his position ranking slightly better since ESPN is generous with their "Athlete" designation (not sure about that though).


January 20th, 2011 at 12:49 PM ^

As somebody else pointed out, this breaks the ice recruiting-wise for the new coaching staff.  As for his potential, I'm not dissappointed with a 3 star - wasn't Woodson a 3 star? - but it would be nice to land some more 4 star recruits.  Most importantly, we need to get the right recruits to fill critical needs.


January 20th, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

Don't want to be a downer, maybe this kid is a sleeper & I sure as hell hope he is. But, we don't have a ton of slots for this class & to burn them on a project DB is a bit puzzling (Don't we have a bunch of 1st/2nd year DBs that fit this bill). Especially with Raven, Countess, McClure, Taylor in the mix who are much higher regarded than this kid.

Poaching recruits from a sub .500 Gopher team doesn't exactly give me wood...

Let's hope he's got skillz...Go Blue


January 21st, 2011 at 7:19 AM ^

Great pick up for Hoke.  Teammate is a TE Darien Bryant.  Maybe lures him to UM if no other TE signs up.  I think if Tamani Carter can add 15 to 20lbs of muscle without losing his speed, he will be a starter for his junior season.  His speed is dangerous, great hip turning ability, and reads wr routes.  Thats from what i saw on his highlight reels. 

Welcome to the family Tamani Carter!
Go Blue!