Five Questions with Florida defensive lineman Zachary Carter

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports

Florida junior defensive tackle Zachary Carter:

 Q: In the film room and meetings, what’s been the message from the coaches about the struggles on defense?

 A:  First of all, as a defense we’ve got to take responsibility, no pointing fingers at everybody. Admit our mistakes and we need to come together. Obviously, we’ve been struggling the last three games. Now is a great time for us to come together. Coach was just telling us, we realize as a group it starts with the little things out at practice. Everything translates to the game. We went out at practice today, you could just tell a difference, guys got a fire lit under them. We’ve got to continue to keep that as the season continues to go on.

 Q: How’s the transition been going from end to defensive tackle?

 A: I think the transition has worked pretty well. As you know, I played a little inside last year, but not as much as I do this year. At camp, Coach Turner did a really good job touching up some of my technique things that I have playing inside. It’s a different ball game from the edge to the inside. They know that I’m more than capable of doing that. I feel like I’ve been able to be stout in the middle and help my team where they need me.

 Q: It looks like you are in great shape. What did you do to prepare for the season?

 A: I’ll say this, this has been the most focused year that I’ve had since I’ve been here. Even the whole time being quarantined. I just really focused on trying to improve myself, be the best athlete that I could be because I know that it will only help me on the field. I really focused this offseason. Other than the physical part, the mental part also is important, just getting that confidence and just knowing that you’re the guy. I think that’s important.

 Q: Could you play more strong-side end when tackle Kyree Campbell comes back?

 A: Yeah I think as we get Kyree back I'll start to play more outside but, for the most part, I play pretty much both. I’m ready to play inside, I'm ready to play outside. Really wherever they need me, they know I'm ready to fill in. I know both positions equally well. I'm ready to fit in wherever.

 Q: What do you think your ceiling is this season?

 A: Well, honestly, I don't think I have a ceiling. I feel like I could take my game as far as I want to take it. I haven't played my best ball yet, but I'm working to get to that point. I'm just trying to improve every week and just try to find ways to get better every week. Hopefully, by the end of the year we'll see how things turn out, but take it week by week.