April 8, 2010

Rebels, Tide in battle for Texas power forward

Jason Carter had planned to spend a year at a prep school before embarking on a college basketball career.

However, after scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds per game for Christian Life Center Academy in Humble, Texas, this season, several big-name schools came calling with scholarship offers.

So with the 6-foot-8, 230-pound Carter in demand, he had a change of plans. Carter will check out a pair of Southeastern Conference programs over the next two weeks, and it's quite likely one of those SEC West foes will land his signature later this month.

Carter, who was previously ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 107 prospect for the Class of 2011, will visit Ole Miss Friday and Alabama next week before making a decision, his father, John Carter, said Thursday afternoon.

"Originally we were going to prep a year, but we decided to come out this year because of the season he had and his recruiting really picked up," the elder Carter said.

Ole Miss, in desperate need of another big man to go along with a signing class that already includes center Demarco Cox and point guard Dundrecous Nelson, has made Carter a top priority. So far, John Carter said, the Rebels appear to be in good shape.

"Right now, Ole Miss is probably at the top of his list," John Carter said. "We're probably going to do an official at Alabama next weekend. Arkansas is heavily recruiting him, but we're not going to take an official there. Penn State wants him to come for a visit, but he really wants to stay down South."

While Ole Miss would love to land a commitment from Carter this weekend and see him cancel the trip to Tuscaloosa, that probably won't happen.

"I think he'll more than likely take the two visits (before committing)," John Carter said. "We've been talking to (Alabama) Coach (Anthony) Grant. He's in town today. We promised him we'd at least take the visit."

The Carter family moved to the Houston area after being relocated from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, which pummeled the Gulf Coast in 2005. Jason Carter played at Marshall High School in the Houston area last season before transferring to Christian Life Center Academy.

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