FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2020, file photo, Florida defensive lineman Zachary Carter (17) walks on the sideline in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. Carter might have an easier time replicating his season-opening performance than filling ticket requests for No. 13 Florida’s next game. The fifth-year senior and Tampa native is pleading with teammates to help him land enough passes for his homecoming against South Florida on Saturday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Zach Carter Ready for Tampa Homecoming

Saturday’s matchup against USF may seem like a regular football game, but for redshirt senior Zach Carter, it is a homecoming. A Tampa native, this will be Carter’s first game in his hometown since his days at Hillsborough High School.

Carter’s Homecoming

Before joining the Gator football team in 2017, Carter spent his high school days at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, where he helped lead the Terriers to an 8-2 record his senior season in 2016. A four-star recruit, Carter played three seasons on the Varsity team. In those three years, he had 205 tackles (97 solo) and 15.0 sacks. He committed to Florida in the summer of 2016 and enrolled a year later.

Heading into Saturday’s game, Carter is excited and ready for his homecoming in Tampa. As far as tickets for family go, he says his mom sent him a list of 30 people, but he is trying around 40 tickets.

Carter joins fellow Tampa natives Richard Gouraige, Malik Davis and a few other Gators who return to their hometown.

Although spending his entire life in the area, this will be Carter’s first time playing at Raymond James Stadium. The last time the Gators played there was in the 2017 Outback Bowl, where they defeated Iowa 30-3. Carter joined the program the following season.

Impressive Start

Carter’s final season in Gainesville has gotten off to a fast start. In the season opener against FAU, he led the defense with an impressive three sacks and forced one fumble. Carter was named the SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week for his performance.


After his impressive performance, Carter reminisced about the fans’ presence during his big plays.

Going into Saturday’s game, Carter and the defensive unit wants to build week-by-week. He explained that they cannot look too far ahead, especially with a matchup against Alabama coming up.

Saturday’s Matchup

After opening the 2021 season with a 35-14 win over FAU at home, the Gators look to move to 2-0 against USF (0-1) on Saturday. Florida is favored by four touchdowns in the matchup. Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

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