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Tennessee football: Five things to know about Vols’ 2023 commit Arion Carter

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Tennessee football, seemingly against all odds, picked up four-star prospect Arion Carter over Alabama. Josh Heupel and his staff keeping Carter in-state says a lot for how far the Vols have come in just Heupel’s second year. 

Here are five things to know about Carter. 

Where Carter ranks

Carter ranks as a four-star prospect across the board and a top-200 recruit. He measures out at 6-foot-1 and 215-pounds. 

247Sports ranks Carter as the No. 3 prospect from Tennessee and the No. 14 linebacker in his class. 

ON3 puts Carter as the No. 2 prospect from Tennessee and the No. 16 linebacker in his class. 

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Rivals has Carter as the No. 1 player from Tennessee and the No. 5 linebacker. 

Decision to choose Tennessee football

Carter seemed like an Alabama lean all the way to his commitment date. Both teams made big final pushes, with Heupel visiting Symrna High School and making an in-home visit to Carter. Saban also took a trip to visit Carter.

Heupel’s hard work paid off as Carter put on an orange hat and became a Vol on Dec. 14, choosing Tennessee football over Alabama and Ohio State. Tennessee extended him a scholarship offer in September. 

Carter’s recruitment didn’t take off until late this fall. He was committed to Memphis before backing off that pledge in early November. 

Mr. Football 

Carter earned the Mr. Football award for Tennessee’s 6A division in 2022. The linebacker had a dominant season. 

Carter finished the 2022 season with 92 tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks, five pass breakups, three forced fumbles, and a pick. He also ran for 1,184 yards and 19 touchdowns on 185 carries. 

Multi-sport athlete 

Carter didn’t only play football, he also ran track and played basketball for Symrna. 

He moves really well for a linebacker, running an 11.99-second 100-meter dash. He also competed in the 300-meter hurdles, placing sixth in state competition. 

On the hardwood, Carter averaged 4.3 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game his junior year. 

Why Tennessee football?

Heupel made the difference for Carter. Aside from the perks of staying in-state, Carter created a great relationship with Heupel and his staff. 

“It was really just the coaching staff,” Carter told the Daily News Journal. “The people that I had around me, the relationships that I could build. And, being an in-state home kid, there were a lot of advantages to that.”

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