LB Abdul Carter
Abdul Carter get even better? Yes, it’s possible.
The freshman linebacker was so good in 2022 that most people probably forgot he was in fact a true freshman.
In 13 games in 2022, Carter had 56 total tackles with 10.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. These are great numbers for a true freshman and even more so considering he wasn’t a full-time starter for the first month of the season.
Carter did not receive consistent playing time throughout the year because he plays the WILL position, which was the position Curtis Jacobs was playing to start 2022.
Now, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has a full offseason to gameplan for how he will use Carter and Jacobs together on the field. This likely means Jacobs moves back to SAM, but at the very least, these two will now have an offseason where they each know their role in the defense.
Yes, Carter will get stronger and faster this offseason, but more of his growth will do with learning more about the linebacker position in the college game and more about his role in Diaz’s defense. That will make him a more dangerous player.
We saw the same thing happen with Micah Parsons from his freshman to sophomore year. As a freshman, Parsons’ athleticism jumped off the screen immediately, but it was also clear that the college game was too fast for him at times. We saw less mistakes in 2019 and saw Parsons make more plays as he learned more about his position and role.
It’s fair to say the same will be the case for Carter.