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Penn State S Jaylen Reed Says Freshman LB Abdul Carter ‘Shows a lot of Shades of Micah Parsons’

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Micah Parsons

Abdul Carter wears No. 11, is from Pennsylvania and plays linebacker at Penn State. Micah Parsons wore No. 11, is from Pennsylvania and played linebacker at Penn State.

For Penn State safety Jaylen Reed, there’s something else that the freshman linebacker has in common with the current Dallas Cowboys star. 

“Abdul is a freak,” Reed told reporters via Zoom Wednesday morning. “Abdul is a natural. Like, he’s just a freak athlete. I’ve never seen something like that. He shows a lot of shades of Micah Parsons.”

Since his college football debut ended inauspiciously with a targeting penalty on his first career play in Penn State’s season opener with Purdue, the former four-star from Philadelphia impressed in Penn State’s wins over Ohio and Auburn. Through two full games, Carter has 11 tackles (eight solos) and got his first sack this past Saturday.

Carter is tied for fourth on Penn State’s team in tackles. the three players ahead of him— Ji’Ayir BrownCurtis Jacobs and Tyler Elsdon — played more than one snap at Purdue.

Brown has played 159 snaps, Jacobs 153 and Elsdon 98.

Joey Porter Jr.,who is tied with Elsdon for fourth, has played 152 snaps. 

Carter has played 60.

“He’s just a freak athlete,” Reed said. “He comes to work every single day. He’s a bruiser… he’s a freak athlete, man. I don’t know what else to say.”

Penn State head coach James Franklin had plenty to say about Carter in his weekly press conference this past Tuesday. Like Reed, Franklin used the word “freak.”

“He’s freakishly fast, freakishly strong and doesn’t have the body of a normal high school linebacker coming in,” Franklin said. 

Carter is 6-foot-3, 233 pounds. In Parsons’s last season at Penn State, he was 6-foot-3, 245 pounds.

“I remember talking to him throughout the recruiting process after he had signed, and him and his dad were asking about weight,” Franklin said. “I’m like, you’re plenty big now. I think they felt like they had to put on more weight. No, you’re plenty big enough now. It’s about strength and things like that.”

Carter has plenty of strength, and Franklin credits that with Carter having the right people around him growing up.

“One of the big things that I think people undervalue sometimes is his support system,” Franklin said. “He’s got a support system that he’s had his whole life that has helped him get to this stage. That support system is still able to be a part of it. I see his dad up here all the time. So, it’s been pretty cool. I would say that we’re not surprised since we’ve been able to be around him and see and hear his testing numbers when he arrived on campus and his approach in the weight room and with summer camp and so on and so forth.”

Having a weight room in the middle of his family’s house didn’t hurt Carter in building his physique. 

“I’m not exaggerating,” Franklin said. “When you walk in the house, hardwood floors and the weight room is set up, getting him ready for Penn State right when you walk into the house in the living room, and he’s like power cleaning and dropping the barbell on hardwood floors.”

Franklin said Carter’s mother, Tina, was happy when he came to Penn State and complimented Carter for his work ethic, which has already led to success at the DI level and should only lead to more this season and in the years ahead. 

“Just very focused, very determined, very driven,” Franklin said. “Just like dad (Christopher) told me.”

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