The thought of going pro crossed Lorenzo Carter’s mind.
Then again, it was never something Carter seriously took into account. Not too long after Carter stepped off the Sanford Stadium turf after a bitter defeat to Georgia Tech, he knew he wanted to come back and give it one more go-around with the Bulldogs.
“I thought about it, but really, all I was thinking about was coming back and being with my brothers, my teammates and the young guys,” Carter said. “The defensive line, they’re young. It’s filled with young guys from freshmen to sophomores, sprinkled in with a few juniors there. Seeing their growth from day one when they stepped on campus to now is (inspiring), and I want to be a part of something great. I won four state championships in high school, and I wanted a ring before I left college. I feel we can make that happen.”
It was quite the day for the Bulldogs with all four of those players announcing they would return for their senior seasons. Prior to Wednesday, running back Nick Chubb seemed like a lock to turn pro. Running back Sony Michel, outside linebacker Davin Bellamy and Carter all had decisions to contemplate or at least it would have seemed that way.
But Carter said there wasn’t too much to decide. While he did receive some information about his future as a professional, Carter said he never saw or sought out a draft advisory committee grade.
One major reason Carter’s excited about returning is due to the returning players he’ll line up with. Georgia is now expected to return its entire starting front seven from this season, considering there were no contributing seniors on the defensive line or at inside linebacker.
The lone rotational player the Bulldogs lose at outside linebacker is Chuks Amaechi.
That has Carter excited for what next season could bring this program on the defensive side of the ball.
“This season didn’t go the way we planned or the way we wanted but from day one to walking off the field the last game, we never stopped fighting,” Carter said. “I never saw any of my teammates lay down or feel sorry for themselves. We kept swinging, kept fighting and even though the ball didn’t roll our way all the time, I could see how much growth we have.”
Carter, along with the other three, felt the time was appropriate to announce their decisions so that the players could avoid what he called the “elephant in the room” and focus on the upcoming Liberty Bowl against TCU.
Carter mentioned how his teammates would often discuss his and the others’ draft status and pending decisions – and joked about how even they wouldn’t know what they were talking about.
“I know in the locker room there’s chatter all the time, and a lot of the time it’s not even right,” Carter said. “Just to say that we have all four of us coming back, as a solid group, it feels good knowing we have something to stand on and lean on in 2017.”
With that in mind, Carter is looking forward to his final season with the Bulldogs. It also gives him a chance to continue enjoying the college life before the NFL comes calling.
“You have to realize once you go to that level it’s a business, it’s a livelihood,” Carter said. “Right now, I’m still having fun playing with my guys, my teammates, living life, going to class. I don’t feel like I’m in a rush.”