Penn State LB Abdul Carter is a big-time player.
A wise man once said, “big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games.
One of the main criticisms of Penn State coach James Franklin is that he can’t win said “big-time games,” and the past two seasons, Michigan and Ohio State have been the biggest thrones in Penn State’s side.
In Carter’s freshman season, where he became one Penn State’s best players by the end, the team beat everybody it played but Michigan and Ohio State.
Coming into the 2023 campaign, Penn State wants everything. Many feel that a Big Ten title, College Football Playoff berth and national championship are all on the table. But to reach those goals, Penn State will almost certainly have to beat one of Michigan or Ohio State, if not both.
Penn State fans will be thinking a lot about Ohio State between now and Oct. 21 and a lot about Michigan between now and Nov. 11.
So it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that, when Carter held an Instagram Q&A, somebody asked him something related to those two schools.
“How do you personally prep for big games like osu and mich?” An anonymous user asked.
“They prep for me,” Carter responded.
I’m thinking that somehow it’s going to be even more fun to watch Abdul Carter this season pic.twitter.com/cpBeCKFOQq
— Caroline (@_supcaroline) July 20, 2023
If Carter is healthy and good to go for those two games, he’ll give Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Ohio State coach Ryan Day plenty to think about.
Utah was certainly “prepping” for Carter ahead of the Rose Bowl, which Penn State ended up winning.
“I know number 11,” Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig told reporters ahead of the game, “the linebacker, is a premier player in the country.”
“Number 11,” Utah QB Cam Rising said. “He’s always going to be a guy that has the red lights around him.”
”Number 11, he’s a great player,” Utah running back Micah Bernard said. “He knows how to use his size, knows how to get around the line. He’s very physical.”
Carter finished 2022 with the team lead in sacks (6.5), tackles for loss (10.5) and finished second in solo tackles (36). He was one of four finalists for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award.
But he knows he can get better in Year 2. That year begins against West Virginia, which has the misfortune of having to prep for Abdul Carter.
“I did what I did in the past, and that’s in the past?” Carter told reporters at Penn State’s second year media availability in February. “But what can I do in the future? What can I do right now to get more?”