Pitt football notebook: Heralded Florida RB commits to Panthers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Almost at the same time Clemson was taking a 14-0 lead against Pitt in the first quarter of the ACC championship game Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium, high school running back Daniel Carter of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was announcing his verbal commitment to the Panthers.
He's the first four-star prospect in Pitt's 20-man class of 2019, according to Rivals.com rankings. Carter will join a stable of young, inexperienced backs next season with Pitt losing seniors Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall. He will try to take away carries from A.J. Davis, Todd Sibley and Mychale Salahuddin. He will be the second running back in Pitt's freshman class, joining Vincent Davis, also of Fort Lauderdale (Cardinal Gibbons High School)
Carter, 5-foor-11, 185 pounds, is one of the nation's top running backs, ranked No. 11 by Rivals. He is the 226th overall prospect in the U.S., 25th in Florida.
Clemson began its defense of the ACC championship like the Tigers had something to prove.
ACC Player of the Year Travis Etienne took a handoff from quarterback Travis Lawrence on the game's first snap and went 75 yards. The play took 13 seconds, representing the fastest score to start a game in ACC title game history. It also was the longest play from scrimmage in an ACC championship.
But those facts are not the only ones that set the play apart.
When Clemson beat Miami, 38-3, in last year's championship game, Etienne rushed for only 24 yards. Clemson totaled 77 on the ground for the game.
Etienne's second touchdown run — a bit more than five minutes later by the game clock — was even quicker (five seconds). But it was only a 3-yard burst after Clemson's Christian Wilkins returned Kenny Pickett's fumble 18 yards.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.