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Are the Florida Gators Leading for 5-Star DE Lorenzo Carter?

Lorenzo Carter

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga. Norcross) was believed to be an Alabama lean with Georgia serving as the biggest threat to the Crimson Tide, but perception could be far from reality for 247Sports No. 3 ranked player.

A June 14 visit to Florida made enough of an impression on the freakishly talented Carter than he has decided the Gators will get one of his official visits and apparently is on equal footing with the other two elite SEC programs. Carter tells Luke Stampini, “My parents enjoyed the visit, and I think I enjoyed it a lot. I put them up there with Alabama and Georgia. Those three up there because that’s where we’ve been.”

Carter is sold on the idea of playing the Buck linebacker position, which is a hybrid rush linebacker/defensive end. His length, closing speed and unrivaled athleticism for a recruit his size would make him a candidate to be a big contributor as a true freshman.

If Carter ultimately commits to the Gators, he won’t announce his college plans until national signing day, he would remind Florida fans of former Gators defensive end Jevon Kearse who shares a number of the similar attributes of Carter. Kearse may have been the original freak, but Carter could be version 2.0.

Florida fans are smart enough and have been in the mix with several elite recruits over the past 20 years to know July is no time to get their hopes up and this will be a dogfight with their SEC brethren Alabama and Georgia as well as Notre Dame who may get an official visit.

However, this news is a sign the team is moving in the right direction and I know some die-hard Gator fans are fantasizing about a defense with Carter and Florida target Da’Shawn Hand on the defensive front. This is now a feasible prospect as both players have Florida inside their top three.

The recruitment of Carter is just getting interesting and Florida would love nothing more than to stick it to their SEC rivals and Notre Dame and secure a commitment from the five-star Carter. Stay tuned because this one promises to be one of the more dramatic and entertaining stories to watch until February.

Carter had 136 tackles with 45 coming for loss and 18 sacks last year and put on a show at The Opening running a 4.54 40-yard dash and posting a 39.7-inch vertical jump.

He is a freak and that is the highest compliment you can pay him. Perhaps he’ll bring his freakish skills to the Swamp in 2014.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your Google network.