Carter named AU starter

Published 5:15 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It’s not often that a group of sophomores with less than a full season’s experience are considered veterans.

But that’s the case for the Auburn defense.

Heading into the Tigers’ season opener Saturday with Utah State, the Auburn defense features seven sophomores listed atop the depth chart, four of which will start on the defensive line.

Those four will be looked upon to provide stability to a largely inexperienced unit.

“Those salty old veterans that we have who have played half a year?” Auburn head coach Gene Chizik joked during his weekly press conference. “It matters, and they are the veterans of the bunch, I guess.”

Among the seven sophomores listed as starters on the Tigers’ defense is Greenville native and former Greenville High School standout Kenneth Carter. Carter will start at defensive tackle.

During last year’s national championship run, Carter played in eight games, including the Tigers’ wins against South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference Championship and Oregon in the BCS National Championship.

As a freshman, the 6-foot-4, 290-pounder recorded six tackles, five of which were unassisted, including one for a loss. He also tallied a fumble recovery.

As a senior at Greenville High School, Carter was a force to be reckoned with for opposing offenses. During his last season in the Camellia City, he accounted for 76 tackles, 16 of which were for a loss, two sacks, 21 quarterback pressures, five forced fumbles, one blocked field goal and an interception returned for a touchdown.

For his efforts Carter, who was ranked among the nation’s best defensive tackles in the 2009 recruiting class, was named 2009 5A Lineman of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.

Carter wa also ranked No. 5 on the Birmingham News’ list of the Alabama Super Seniors. He was tabbed as the 22nd best player in Alabama by SuperPrep as was named to the All-Southeast Region team by PrepStar.