Taurean Carter working way back from injury

By Otis Kirk
on 2023-03-30 19:39 PM

FAYETTEVILLE — The spring game last April started off with a devastating injury very early on when defensive tackle Taurean Carter went down to the turf.

Carter had been playing outstanding to that point, but the injury forced him to miss all season in an effort to heal his knee. He’s back working this spring.

“Yeah, it’s slowly coming up on a year,” Carter said. “I’m not myself right now. I’m still, you know what I’m saying, trying to get back, knock off the rust. It’s been a year just trying to get back moving. It’s just a lot of mobility and agility and just the bending part about it and more like having the confidence about it in my head and get rid of that mental block.”

If you aren’t yourself yet do you know when that will happen?

“By the end of spring ball, most definitely,” Carter said. “I’ll be feeling great. Fall camp comes, I’m just getting jitters ready for the season. I just can’t wait to kick the season off. That’s where I’m at, right now.”

For the first time since Sam Pittman arrived at Arkansas the Hogs return the same defensive line coach. Deke Adams came on last year and is the lone holdover on defense.

“Man, I talk to him about that all the time,” Carter said. “I rave to him all the time. I just like the fact that I know what I’m getting. I know what type of coaching I’m getting and I know what he wants from me. That’s what I lack. His strength is what I lack. So we kind of have a big bond right there.”

Travis Williams has replaced Barry Odom as the defensive coordinator and he’s impressed Carter with his philosophy and style of coaching.

“I love it,” Carter said. “I’m all bought in. I’m all for it. We’re four down and we’re sending the kitchen sink. So it’s a lot of opportunities left out there on the field for us to make plays.”

Cameron Ball had been running with the first unit at defensive tackle next to Carter. However, Ball suffered a high-ankle sprain on Tuesday.

“Coach Adams has stressed enough for us,” Carter said. “We’re praying for Mr. Ball. A speedy recovery. He’s going to take care of his business and we’re going to check up on him in and out. But it has to be the next man up. The next man up mentality.”

Carter talked about the depth at the two defensive tackle spots.

“We need a little bit more, we need a little bit more,” Carter said. “But I feel like they’re supposed to be recruiting and bringing in some more guys for help, but even if they don’t I feel like we’re good where we’re at. All we’ve got is all we need.”

Offensive lineman Brady Latham is friends with Carter and pleased to have him back. They go against each other some in practice.

“So yeah, me and Taurean are good buddies,” Latham said. “He’s actually sitting right over here, but it was really hard to see that because I see how hard he works, especially off the field and where other people don’t see. He’s in the weight room every day. He’s a vocal leader. We came in together, and I’ve been super lucky to play with him. He’s probably made me better than almost anyone else out there, so it was really sad to see that, but he attacked his recovery like he does everything else, and I think he’s ready to have a huge year. He’s been tearing it up.”

Arkansas will hold a closed scrimmage on Saturday.

(Last updated: 2023-03-30 19:39 PM)