Although he won't announce where he will play in college for another two weeks, Boo Carter has found a new home to finish out his high school football career.
One of the state's highest-rated recruits has officially transferred to Bradley Central, attending his first practice Tuesday morning, and will join a roster already dotted with multiple college prospects.
A consensus four-star prospect, Carter posted on social media over the weekend that he will announce his commitment at 8 p.m. on June 17 at a party at New York City's 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar owned by rap mogul Jay-Z.
In December, Carter narrowed his list of college choices to Colorado, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon and Tennessee from an original list of offers from more than 40 schools.
After an impressive junior season at Chattanooga Christian School, Carter transferred to Brainerd in November — where he helped lead the Panthers basketball team to the state semifinals in March. He was allowed to play basketball for the Panthers because he had not played that sport at CCS.
However, because he played football for the Chargers, by TSSAA rule, he could only be eligible to play that sport at a school located at least 20 miles from the CCS campus. Brainerd's campus sits just 8 1/2 miles from CCS, which meant Carter had to transfer in order to be eligible to play football his senior season. Bradley Central is 31 miles from CCS.
Carter officially enrolled at Bradley Central last week, but due to a prior commitment to attend the Wayne State National College Showcase — where he was named the camp's top performer — Tuesday morning was the first time he practiced with his new prep team.
"I knew I couldn't play at Brainerd because of the mileage rule, so I knew from the get-go, after I left CCS, that I would have to go somewhere in Cleveland and I picked Bradley," Carter said. "I went to Brainerd to hoop and finish out the school year there, but Bradley was always the option for me since I already know some guys who play here. I play on the same 7-on-7 team with Marcus and Mason (Goree) and Kaleb (Martin) so I figured why not team up?
"I'm here to win. I like to win and I've got some guys here who are trying to achieve the same thing I'm trying to, so I know I've got help to do that. I know the fans here are going to go crazy because we have so much talent. I can't wait to show everybody what this Bradley team is all about."
Carter joins a Bears roster that already includes defensive back Marcus Goree, who committed to Tennessee in February, as well as defensive back Tito Williams, who has offers from Duke, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and West Virginia among others, and quarterback Kaleb Martin, who is committed to Miami (Ohio).
Carter is ranked as the state's top-rated recruit by Rivals.com and is No. 3 overall according to On3.com, which ranks Goree eighth.
"As a coach you feel fortunate because a guy with his ability changes the outlook for your team," Bears coach Damon Floyd said. "He's a playmaker on both sides of the ball. I've actually not watched him play other than on video, but I've seen enough to know he's dynamic.
"Finding a way to get the ball in his hands on offense won't be a problem. We'll get him the ball in space in as many ways as possible. Defensively, he's projected as a safety, so we'll put him in the middle of the field and let him make plays there, too. You don't overcoach a kid like Boo. You just put him on the field and let him play."
In becoming one of the state's five Tennessee Titans Mr. Football semifinalists for Division II-AA last season at CCS, Carter compiled 1,478 offensive yards and 28 touchdowns and was in on 40 tackles on defense, where he also intercepted four passes, returning one for a touchdown.
In December, Carter also became the Chattanooga area's first high school athlete to sign an endorsement deal to profit from his name, image and likeness when he announced a deal with SuckerPunch Gourmet Inc. — an Illinois-based pickle company.
Bradley Central's defense typically employs three safeties, and those starting spots will be taken by Football Bowl Subdivision prospects Carter, Goree and Williams. The Bears also have FBS prospects in 6-foot-5, 255-pound senior offensive lineman Luke Keith and juniors J'Alan Terry at running back and Mason Goree at defensive back.
"I'd say having the amount of talent we do, that should be a good reason to fill the stands every Friday," Floyd said. "We should be an exciting team to watch.
"From a coach's standpoint, even though we know who our superstars are, it's going to be those guys who do the dirty work and don't get the same amount of recognition that will be the difference in how successful we are."
When he chose the Volunteers over Colorado in mid-February, Marcus Goree admitted he would begin helping recruit other area players to join him in Knoxville.
"I wanted to play close to home so my family could come watch me play," he said at the time. "Now I can start trying to recruit some more guys to join me."
Whether or not he helps influence Carter to join him at Tennessee, those two will help make up one of the most talented rosters any public school in the Chattanooga area has ever had.
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com.