Hello and welcome back to the Freshman Film Room series! Today we will take a look at a defensive lineman out of Amarillo, Avion Carter. Carter played at Tascosa HS, which is one of the best programs in west Texas. He finished up a productive career with 64 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks in his senior season. Carter checks in at 6-4, 260 pounds. He was a 4-star prospect, and 247Sports ranked him the #36 defensive lineman in the country. If you want to check out more of his film you can find that here. Let’s get into the film.
In this first clip, Carter is lined up as a 3 technique. The first thing that jumped out to me was just how quickly he got off the ball. It almost looks like he’s out of his stance and moving before some of the offensive linemen. A quick jump like that can work wonders for a defensive lineman. Carter is off the ball so fast here that the right guard can’t work the double team, and he blows up the play at the line of scrimmage.
Once again Carter is lined up as a 3 technique. He gets off the ball well and goes with a classic bullrush here. Carter does a great job of using his hands to get off the right guard’s block and continues to pressure the quarterback. He forces a bad throw and his teammates reap the benefits with the interception. Put that one under “dirty work linemen don’t usually get recognized for.”
This one might be my favorite clip I saw. If you watch Avion Carter’s film you will see this exact move time and time again. Right on the snap, Cater dips his left shoulder (this is a move now taught to defenders that gives offensive players a much smaller surface area to lock on to and block) and rips through, crossing the right guard’s face. There’s no hole for the running back to get in, and Carter makes the play at the line of scrimmage.
In this clip, Carter has flipped to the opposite side of the formation and is working against the left guard. As usual, he’s quick off the ball. He gives another “dip and rip” and the running back has no shot at picking him up in pass pro. Carter makes this sack look easy.
This is another really great clip that shows off Carter’s athletic ability. Here he’s playing as the 5 at the top of the formation. The offense makes the mistake of trying to block Carter with a tight end. Carter makes this look easy, and he does it with great technique. He initiates the contact and gets his arms extended so he can play on either side of the tight end. When the running back tries to bounce it outside Carter throws the tight end aside and makes the play.
This one is kind of crazy. Carter gets off the ball so fast that he’s in the backfield before the exchange between the running back and quarterback has actually occurred. He just breaks down, finds the ball, and makes the play at the line of scrimmage.
Here Carter gets doubled teamed in pass pro. Despite that, he’s still able to bullrush the offensive line and help collapse the pocket. And as if that wasn’t enough, he gets that right hand up and is able to bat the ball down at the line. This is about as good as you can do it.
Our final clip of the day is yet another one that we file under “things linemen do that they often don’t get appreciated for.” Carter is playing as a stand-up 7 technique here. He reads the left tackle and sees the down block, so he knows it’s a gap scheme play coming his way (in this case GT Counter). Carter does what all good linemen do and closes down the gap instead of running upfield. He takes on the pulling guard, sheds the block, and helps make the play for a loss.
Avion Carter brings great size and athleticism to play on the edge in this TCU defense. He’s the kind of guy who does a lot of the dirty work that may not always show up in the stat sheet, and those guys are crucial to a team’s success. I can’t say for certain that he’ll see lots of playing time this fall, but given time he will turn into a contributor for the Horned Frogs defense.