players. He’s really not concerned about himself. He’s worried about the team. As long as
[the players] keep those kind of attitudes, we’ll
continue to do great things.”
ZO KNOWS BASKETBALL
When you’re 6-6 and 235 pounds, it’s easy
to excel at more than one sport. That kind of
natural athleticism can’t be taught, giving athletes of that stature an added advantage if they
fine-tune their skills.
It shouldn’t be a surprise Carter is also a
standout basketball player for the Blue Devils.
After helping lead Norcross to a state championship in football, Carter hit the hardwood in hopes
of a similar result. Sure enough, it happened,
with Norcross defeating Hillgrove 60-48 in the
2013 Class 6A championship game. Though
he only scored three points, Carter blocked two
shots and played all 32 minutes of regulation.
It was the first time in Georgia High School
Association history that a school won both the
football and basketball championships in the
same athletic season.
Carter describes his basketball style as
explosive, saying he’ll, “go up and dunk on
you.” His basketball opponents see the same
Lorenzo Carter his football foes see on Friday
nights during the fall.
“My coach can call on me when he needs
somebody shut down,” Carter said. “Nobody’s
going to come into the post when I’m in there.”
Jackson wouldn’t speculate whether Carter
could potentially become a two-sport athlete
in college, walking on to play basketball as well
as football. However, it wouldn’t surprise the
defensive line coach if Carter gave it a try.
“On the defensive side of football you have to
have a mentality, a nastiness to you, especially
on the front line in the trenches,” Jackson said.
“You can’t come playing soft. He brings that to
the basketball court with him too.”
Zo knows academics
Carter has suitors all over the country clam-
oring to get him, including Alabama, Clemson,
Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Notre
Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee. Though
these schools want him for his abilities on the
football field, a large part of Carter’s decision
will be how each school can better prepare him
for life outside of football.
“My major is the most important thing,”
Carter said. “The average NFL player’s career
isn’t long. I can only play for so long. After that,
I have to use my degree. If my degree doesn’t
hold weight then my career is basically a bust.”
A self-professed lover of math and science,
Carter’s collegiate goal is to pursue an engineering degree. He’s also involved in a Norcross
High School program called S.T.A.R.S., which
stands for Success Through Academic Rigor
The mission of S. T.A.R.S. is to mentor at-risk
ninth grade students through subject tutoring
and teaching life skills. Carter was asked to be
a part of it, which he agreed to do. He had previous experience at Whitefield Academy, having
helped tutor fourth graders at his old school.
Carter’s history teacher, Jay Nebel, who
started S.T.A.R.S. along with another Norcross
teacher, said Carter’s influence in the program
goes above and beyond. On one occasion,
Nebel overheard two students, who weren’t
interested in schoolwork when the school
year began, discussing how to approach an
assignment. The students also engaged in an
academic debate on the project’s accuracies.
Taken aback, Nebel asked why there was a sud-
den interest all of a sudden.
ZO KNOWS WINNING
Whether it’s in the classroom, on the gridiron
or on the basketball court, one thing’s for sure.
Carter knows how to win. In addition to football
and basketball titles with Norcross, Carter was
a part of the Class A basketball championship
team at Whitefield Academy. He hasn’t accrued
these championships by accident.
With all the winning he’s grown accustomed
to, Carter’s not looking to surrender that feeling. With such a big decision looming, a football
program’s ability to win will certainly factor.
“When I go to college I want to go somewhere
where I know I can win,” he said. “I am used to it.”
Carter has taken various students under his
wing when in need. One particular student’s
father had recently passed away and needed
someone to talk to. Carter reached out, offered
his friendship and continued to follow up on
him. It’s no wonder the Norcross faculty gushes
over Lorenzo Carter the person, not just the
“He’s exactly what you want your student-athletes to be,” Norcross athletic director Kirk
On multiple occasions, Jackson’s seen Carter
do his part to set a positive example for others
“You know how kids can get, cussing and
going back and forth with each other,” Jackson
said. “He’ll stop and say, ’Hey, watch your lan-
guage around here. You’re better than that.’ I’ve
seen him do that a few times. He’s just a great
Winning programs have flocked to Carter, so
that criteria won’t be difficult. The fact back-to-
back national champion Alabama has him high
on its radar speaks for itself. Even so, Carter
will play his collegiate decision carefully, waiting
until National Signing Day in 2014 to announce