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Decision Preview: Can Kentucky Close on Martels Carter?

Nick Roushby:Nick Roush05/23/24


Clemson, Oregon, & Kentucky Battle for the #1 Player in Kentucky | Martels Carter Talks Recruitment

The Fourth of July has become a popular time for the best high school football players in the country to announce commitments. Martels Carter isn’t waiting until July. The top-ranked player in the state of Kentucky will announce his decision during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

On Saturday, May 25, four hats will be on the table for Carter: Auburn, Colorado, Kentucky, and Louisville. Ahead of decision day, the Wildcats are the favorites in the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine (RPM). Kentucky received a slew of picks in early February. More Wildcat fuel was added to the fire when Steve Wiltfong added a Kentucky prediction in early May.

Carter is originally from Chattanooga, TN. His family moved to Paducah last summer where he immediately starred for Tilghman High School, helping guide the Blue Tornado to a 13-0 record before falling in the semifinals of the 4A state playoffs. A two-way player in the high school ranks, he’s a top-25 safety in the class and the No. 193 player overall, according to the On3 Industry Ranking.

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The Carter Recruitment will not End with the Announcement

Vince Marrow made Carter a priority early in the recruiting process. Mark Stoops does not hit the road often during the spring, but the Kentucky head coach traveled to Paducah to meet with the talented athlete in person in January.

The early Kentucky momentum did not keep other schools from pursuing the No. 1 player from the Commonwealth. Carter has a family connection to Coach Prime’s Colorado program. Auburn appears to be the Cats’ top competition. Hugh Freeze’s assistants have been diligent.

Even if Carter does don a Wildcat cap on Saturday, this recruitment will not be completely sealed until a signature is received on Signing Day. The talented defensive back has multiple official visits on his schedule.

He plans on officially visiting Michigan in June. He also told Auburn Live he will visit the Plains a few times, with an OV happening during the season. You can probably expect Kentucky to host him for an official visit during a home game at Kroger Field this fall.

Kentucky currently has five commitments in the class of 2025, highlighted by a pair of four-star offensive playmakers, RB Marquise Davis and WR Quintin Simmons. Kentucky could maintain early momentum on the trail with a commitment from Carter. The Cats have also generated a ton of buzz with Javeon Campbell, the four-star EDGE from Frankfort who some rank as the top player from the state in the 2025 class.

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