From the Big Apple, Boo Carter has announced he will play for the Big Orange.
The Chattanooga-area prep standout who is one of the state's top football prospects ended his college courtship with four other programs Saturday night, when Carter announced his commitment to the Tennessee Volunteers during a party at New York City's 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar owned by rap mogul Jay-Z.
"For the next three to four years, I'll be taking my talents to the University of Tennessee," Carter said as he announced his commitment live on Instagram with more than 3,400 people watching. "I'd like to thank all the college coaches for taking time to show me their program. I want to thank everyone who has been with my long journey, including my friends, family and teammates."
Last December, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound two-way star 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. He made an official visit to Michigan last weekend, then was on the UT campus Wednesday and Thursday for an unofficial visit.
He also spent time in Knoxville over the Memorial Day weekend for the Vols' 865 Live recruiting event.
A consensus four-star prospect, Carter starred in football at Chattanooga Christian School last fall before transferring to Brainerd in November, where he went on to help lead the Panthers to the state semifinals in basketball and finished out the 2022-23 school year. He transferred to Bradley Central earlier this month, where he joined fellow UT commitment Marcus Goree Jr. and a handful of other Football Bowl Subdivision prospects on the roster for coach Damon Floyd's Bears.
After enrolling at Bradley, Carter admitted his close relationship with Goree and several other players drew him to that program. And when Goree chose the Vols over Colorado in mid-February, he 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," Goree said at the time. "Now I can start trying to recruit some more guys to join me."
Carter is listed as the state's top-rated recruit by Rivals.com and No. 3 by On3.com, which ranks Goree eighth. Carter became the 12th player to commit to the Vols in the class of 2024, and he is the fourth in-state player in that group, which also includes Goree, a 6-0, 177-pound defensive back, and McCallie defensive lineman Carson Gentle (6-3, 241). Prior to Carter's announcement, the Vols' recruiting class was ranked 15th nationally.
Carter, who became the Chattanooga area's first prep athlete to sign a name, image and likeness deal last December, was also on UT's campus on June 6 to compete in a 7-on-7 tournament with his new Bradley Central teammates. Before taking the field to practice with the Bears, Carter explained what would go into his decision-making process leading up to his commitment.
"A big thing for me is my relationship with the coaches," Carter said. "For me to go to their school, I look deep inside the program, like how many players they've got that were drafted (into the NFL) from their school, because I'm trying to go to the league. Also, what can that school do for me outside of football, like helping develop me as a person, as a man.
"The recruitment process is really fun. When you get into it, you get to meet new people, new coaches and see what they're talking about, and that's fun to experience. Whenever I talked to the different coaches at UT, they would just tell me that if I want to be great, come to Tennessee. They want me to bring some other big-time players with me and keep the momentum going."
On his way to becoming one of the five Tennessee Titans Mr. Football semifinalists for TSSAA Division II-AA last season at CCS, Carter compiled 1,478 offensive yards and 28 touchdowns for the Chargers and was in on 40 tackles on defense, where he also intercepted four passes, returning one for a touchdown.
When asked which side of the ball he preferred to play once he gets to college, Carter said he just wanted to be put in a position to make plays — and win a national championship.
"Personally, I want the ball in my hands," Carter admitted. "That's how you get noticed. On defense you can get noticed, too, but with the ball in my hands, it's something special, I know that.
"I really don't care what position I play, whether offense or defense. It's whatever I can do to help the team win and go win a natty, that's what I'm going to do."
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com.