Boo Carter has become the Chattanooga area's first high school athlete to sign an endorsement deal to profit from his name, image and likeness.
Carter, who is now enrolled at Brainerd High School, announced his sponsorship deal with SuckerPunch Gourmet Inc. -- an Illinois-based pickle company -- Wednesday.
"Personally I feel blessed just to have the opportunity to sign an NIL deal," said Carter, who did not disclose the details of the agreement. "I believe it's a really big deal for someone like me to have this chance in high school because I'll be able to learn more about what to do and not to do once I get to college and have bigger NIL offers.
"I'm just excited that Tennessee made it OK for high school guys like myself to have these type opportunities."
Last week, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association voted unanimously to begin allowing student-athletes to be paid for appearing in advertisements, provided those deals are carried out in a manner that does not suggest the endorsement or sponsorship of the school in which they are enrolled.
Carter, a four-star prospect according to 247Sports.com, is considered one of the state's top overall recruits in the Class of 2024. He compiled 1,478 offensive yards and 28 touchdowns and was also in on 40 tackles and had four interceptions -- returning one for a touchdown -- his junior season with Chattanooga Christian before transferring to Brainerd.
In October he narrowed his list of college programs he was considering to 12 -- Tennessee, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Clemson, Miami, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Oregon, Arizona State and Jackson State -- and plans to trim that list to five early next year.
However, Carter said Wednesday that he has been contacted by two assistants who work on new Colorado head coach Deion "Prime Time" Sanders' staff and will make an official visit there in January.
"Coach Prime was the reason he had Jackson State on his list initially, so he wants to go out and see what Colorado is all about," Brainerd football coach Martels Carter said. "Boo has a lot of pressure on him at a very young age as a nationally known prospect. He's a young man who has a lot of expectations and a lot of people who want something from him, none of which is easy to deal with at his age.
"He told me he wasn't able to get to sleep much when the college dead period ended because he had so many coaches calling him wanting to recruit him. We've had high school players whose recruitment blew up sometime during their senior year, but I don't remember the last local kid who had this much national exposure at such an early age. We're witnessing greatness."
Carter was one of the state's five Mr. Football semifinalists for Division II-AA one week prior to his transfer, but after sitting out CCS' quarterfinal playoff game, then transferring the following Monday, he was not named one of the three finalists for the award.
"He had a lot taken away from him because of his transfer, but I believe that was a learning experience for the kid," said Coach Carter, who is not related to Boo. "Having this NIL deal is something really positive for him, a way for him to benefit from the work he has put in to become such a well-known athlete."