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2024 UW Recruiting Profile: Noah Carter, EDGE

Schmidt goes down to AZ to find his future EDGE star w/ WR athleticism

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 30 Washington at UCLA Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As per tradition, I’m spending the offseason working my way through the upcoming recruiting class. I’ll be taking a look at the tape of our current Class of 2024 commitments, getting a feel for their skills and talent, and assessing where they might fit on our roster. You can my find other 2024 UW recruiting profiles here.

Noah Carter (EDGE, 6’3” 225, Centennial HS, AZ)

Noah Carter is a talented and unique addition to Coach Schmidt’s EDGE group. It’s not often that you see a high end EDGE/WR 2-way player at the HS level, but that’s exactly what Carter brings to the table. Not only did he rack up 14 sacks and an INT on defense last season, but he also snagged 27 receptions for 348 yards and 4 TDs on offense as one of his team’s receiving leaders.

Carter’s dynamic playmaking on both sides of the ball didn’t go unnoticed. Coach Schmidt had to fend off Texas, Arizona, and Arizona State to secure the then 3-star EDGE prospect who was among the top recruits in Arizona’s talented HS football scene (Carter’s since been bumped up to a composite 4-star recruit).


Diving into his junior hudl film, the 6’3” 225 lb rising senior fits the mold of our boundary EDGE where explosive pass rush and, on occasion, coverage skills are a sought. Much like, current UW EDGE Lance Holtzclaw, Carter is on the lighter size for an every down EDGE, but his upside is all about his speed, agility, and overall athleticism. As a pass rusher, he almost exclusively played from a 2-point stance in his hudl tape, and his technique and play style is built off of his athleticism. He isn’t the biggest rusher, so he doesn’t try to just bull rush blockers. Instead he plays with his rush angles to get blockers off balance and to avoid clean blocks on him from OTs.

At the 2:21 mark of the hudl clip above, he has a great pass rush rep showing off a swipe and dip combo rush move. His initial steps push upfield and attack OT’s outside shoulder. Because of Carters burst and the amount of ground he can cover, the OT is forced to start flipping his hips towards the sideline just to be square enough to attempt a block. The OT is already off balance when he tries to get his hands on Carter, but because he’s off his platform, Carter easily swipes his hands before he can make full contact, and then he dips around the corner for the easy sack. In one rep, Carter was able to capitalize on his first step burst, solid hand technique, and his bendiness in a combo that even some multi-year college players can’t string together.

Burst and overall agility pop up throughout Carters tape outside through his usage as a blitzer from non-conventional angles, as the looper on stunts, in backside chase down situations on run plays, and whenever Carter was making a tackle in space (inside the pocket and in the open field). One of the most frustrating things for a pass rusher is when they beat their block and aren’t able to finish on the sack/TFL, but Carter has shown a good ability to use his long reach and overall agility to get ball carriers on the turf. One other trait that I regularly look for in DL & EDGE prospects is their ability to impact pass plays when they can’t get to the QB. That can be through coverage ability, but more often it is through getting their hands up to affect passing lanes. Being able to do either means that they can be an impact player even when the blocking does its job and when the pressure concept isn’t designed for you. It also shows that you have elevated spatial awareness and general football IQ. Carter checks the box with the proven ability to do both.

Looking to the future, Carter will likely arrive on Montlake within 15-20 lbs of the ideal size to play the boundary EDGE spot (Carter will likely end up somewhere in the 245-255 lb range for his final playing weight based on his current frame) assuming that he continues to grow/develop through his final HS season, so early action isn’t completely out of the picture. Coach Schmidt likes to keep his EDGE players’ legs fresh with a pretty deep 4-6 man rotation, and we’ll be light on experience once Bralen Trice and ZTF move on to the next level.

If I were to summarize his play style and upside with a player comparison, I’d say that he reminds me a lot of Bralen Trice with shades of one-time UW recruiting target Bru McCoy. The similar explosive pass rush style blended with good natural bendiness/flexibility to be a true edge rusher is evident between Carter and Trice. While McCoy and Carter are very different levels of athletes (McCoy was a consensus top 10 prospect), the WR/EDGE combo where ball skills from the offensive side carry over into defensive assignments is also evident in the way Carter executes the handful of off-ball assignments and when he’s affecting passing lanes. If I were to guess, Carter will be an impact EDGE sooner rather than later.