That’s originally what he sat down to talk about on Tuesday afternoon at Manley Field House, but what bubbled out was an even more intriguing discussion about why he chose Syracuse over Rutgers.
“It was a little hard for me because I came from a type of hard town and those type of opportunities don’t come around. Everybody (at Syracuse) was just showing so much love and it was just overwhelming. I didn’t know how to say no. I never said yes, but I didn’t know how to say no.”
That’s a pretty candid look into his experiences. His hometown of Wyandanch, NY is a pretty tough place. Gang crime, drugs, shootings – you name it and you can find a story about it happening there. In fact, Cater’s been a victim of his home turf’s violence.
“While attending a party (in May of 2008), he was hit by a stray bullet in the left knee, where it is still lodged. ‘When that happened, I thought all my dreams of playing football were flushed down the drain,” Cater said. ‘I didn’t know if I would be able to play.”’
Unreal. The hardest thing for me growing up in the ‘burbs was missing John the Ice Cream Man because I was too busy playing Super Mario Bros.
Cater transferred to Riverhead, 45 minutes further east on Long Island, to finish out his high school. He dominated and got the offer from Syracuse.
Take a second to think about what his visit must have been like. If you’re from a tough background where guns are more important than grades and all of a sudden you’re in a place where everybody likes you, wants to talk to you, and is concerned with your well being – how could you possibly say no?
“Rutgers and Syracuse they were both good schools, but Syracuse showed more love, they were more supportive and they told me education was the key.”
What did Cater think of Greg Schiano?
“He’s a type of cocky coach. He’s real cool. I respect him. He likes to win, every coach wants to win and you gotta respect that.”
Could you ever see yourself having played for Schiano?
“Na. I love it here. Coach Marrone, Anselmo, these are my coaches. I just love it here.”
To quote Taylor Swift: “It’s a love story baby, just say yes.”
Or in Cater’s case, just don’t say no.
Posted: Mike Couzens