Patience has paid off for Chris Carter. In hearing his story about how he ended up at Southern Miss, it is clear that the timing is right for the big lineman.
"In High School I played offensive and defensive line for Ocean Springs," he said in an interview today. "I had a few D2 schools talk to me, and one 1AA offer me, but I really wanted to play big time Division One. Gulf Coast came in and offered me a full ride. Southern Miss offered me a walk on position out of high school, but I thought it would be better to take the full ride."
"Gulf Coast wanted me to play defensive tackle while others wanted me to play offensive line," he continued. "I was a defensive tackle, and everything was working out great. I had some offers from Houston and SMU, and I was getting some good playing time.
"Willie Packer came in, and with him and John Jenkins, we had a three man rotation with two other studs. My playing time was going down, so I was getting a little frustrated with the situation." That is when the door opened up and an opportunity again came around to play at Southern Miss.
"I let Southern Miss know that I was being looked at by other schools," he said. "So, when I came in and visited at the Houston game, I talked to several coaches. They told me they knew the situation at Perk, and they said they wanted me to play offensive line and come in during the spring."
After talking with family, he decided the timing and the fit was just right. "We talked about how Zipp is a good player, and there is going to be a vacant spot there that I can compete for," he said. "It was an opportunity that I didn't want to pass up, and I didn't want to miss out again."
"If I wanted to get playing time at a big time school, this was it. I am coming in the spring," he added.
"It's a long story, but that is how it all came about."
Southern Miss offered him at the Houston game, and Carter knew all along Southern Miss was near the top for him. Now, he is excited about the opportunity to finish his college career here.
"Obviously, it is a great location," he said. "My family can come to every game, and the University has been close to my family. My grandparents went to school there, and my grandmother even has a scholarship in her honor.
"I love the program," he added. "They are a couple of points away from a Conference Championship. In my mind, I see them as a contender every year, and you know you are going to go to a bowl game. One the football side they are a great team."
Academics played a huge role as well. "I know I will be taken care of as far as academics are concerned," he added. "I had a 4.0 at Gulf Coast, so it is important to me. Look at the numbers, USM graduates players. I am really excited about that as well."
"I love the offensive line coach as well. I was at the bowl game Tuesday, and he is so fun to watch. This guy is fun, yelling, motivating players, and just a guy I really want to play for. So, overall it is just a combination of all of these that have me ready to go in January."
Carter has some experience in the spread offense in High School, so he is looking forward to the opportunity to return to that. He also has friends in former teammates DeAndre Brown and Allen Howze.
As mentioned earlier, Carter will enroll in January and start his class work so he can compete for the opening at Center in the spring.
Stay tuned to GoldenEaglePride.com for the most complete coverage of USM recruiting.