By: Lily Blum – Media Relations Student Assistant
Jermaine Carter, Jr. describes himself as a high-effort guy. Regardless if he is on the field or in the weight room, his discipline and work ethic are always on display.
“I have always been a guy that has led by example,” explained Carter. “Not only do I want to be a vocal leader for my team but, I also want to show the fans in the stands, my little brothers and the NFL that I am a guy that goes out there and gives it my all on every play.”
While he acknowledges that the effort was never an issue for him, it was a conversation during Carter's sophomore year with former Terrapin, now NFL standout, Stefon Diggs, which would enable him to change certain habits and take his game to the next level.
“I was talking to Stef one day and everything just clicked,” Carter said. “He told me ‘you aren't going to drive a Ferrari and put in regular gas'.”
From that moment on, Carter realized how important it was to be putting the right things in his body. He not only focuses a great deal on nutrition, it has become a passion for him.
“I am very aware of what I am eating at all times,” Carter said. “I eat for fuel. I don't just eat to eat. I make sure I am eating the right things and doing the extra work off the field to transform my body.”
Whether it is getting into the sauna to burn a few extra pounds or adding in an extra lift session, Carter is aware that this is what it takes to get to the next level.
Diggs, among other former NFL Terps, have come back to talk to the team about the importance of taking care of their bodies.
“We have had a number of guys come back to give us tips. They are at a point in their life where I want to be so I'm all ears,” explains Carter. “I just take in everything they say because they obviously know what to do because they are currently performing at the highest level possible.”
Carter also credits Rick Court, the Director of Football Sports Performance, in helping him reach his maximum potential.
“Coach Court has done a great job of pushing me to limits that I didn't even know I could reach with my body,” Carter said.
The changes in Carter's body since the new staff arrived in December 2015 are undeniable. When the new Maryland staff arrived early in 2016, Carter was near 20 percent body fat. He said he's now down to around 12 percent and has never felt better in his life.
With the help of Court and his staff, Carter is hoping to get down to 225 pounds by the start of the 2017 season. Carter says nowadays, linebackers are not as desirable to NFL teams if they are lingering in the 250-260 pound range. Safeties, who have speed on their side, are now being put in at linebacker.
“I have to be able to keep up with them,” Carter explains. “I have to make sure my weight is in good standing to be able to perform with the best of them.”
Carter is also hoping the young players around him are noticing the changes he's making. He talks to them daily and gives them tips when he feels he can help.
“Coming in I definitely thought I had all the answers, but I was way off,” said Carter with a smile. “It clicks for everybody at different times and if I can help our younger guys learn about taking care of their bodies earlier, it'll help the team in the long run.”
Carter is clearly ready to click on the field in 2017.