TCU safety Sam Carter wears many hats for TCU.
Aside from his starting role on defense, Carter is a team captain, a go-to media spokesman and an overall ambassador for the athletic department.
“Sam Carter is one of those guys that — he’s the Andy Dalton of defense,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said.
Beyond that, one of his most important tasks for the football program is seen by few people throughout the year: Sam Carter the recruiter.
During a recent recruiting camp in which a record 400 players attended, Carter shook the hand of every athlete, parent and coach who entered Amon G. Carter Stadium.
“I make sure they feel like they’re at home,” Carter said. “That’s the key. To get any kid that comes to your camp to keep coming or any parent to say they’re going to send their kid to this program, you have to make sure the parents are comfortable and the kids are happy.”
Carter, who earned his degree in May and will play his senior season as a graduate student, has every right to take a pass on helping out with recruits, but he sees that role as something much more important than a football decision.
“My job with the kids on visits is I tell them the truth,” Carter said. “Coaches lie. I don’t care. They can sit here and say they don’t. Every coach has lied to kids. If you’re not willing to see through that and say, ‘I want to be the person who this kid says, “I chose this school because this person told me the truth,” not, “I chose this school and everything I was told was a lie.” ’ ”
So, with that calling, Carter attends every recruiting camp and continues to host recruits because of the impact he knows he can make in people’s lives with just a simple conversation.
He likes to talk with recruits about time management, showing them that if you sleep until noon and work out for an hour, the majority of the day has been wasted.
“In a 24-hour day you only worked out three hours out of the day?” Carter said. “Twenty-one hours, you did nothing. You’re telling me you want to be great? You can’t be great just working three hours out of the day because there is more in a day that you can do to make yourself better.”
So next summer, when recruits visit TCU to showcase their skills, the Horned Frogs will be without their fun-loving recruiter who spent his five years in the program working his hardest to help high school kids make one of the biggest decisions in their lives.
“It’s big. It’s major because five years of your life is major, and you’re going to spend those years at a program that you hate and don’t enjoy at all? Or you can go somewhere where you’re blessed and people are with you and you have faith and you’re excited,” Carter said.