LANCASTER — When Paraclete football player Henry Ikahihifo committed to the University of Nevada, he told his new coaches about all of his friends who were still undecided.
One of those friends was Paraclete teammate Donovan Carter.
“When I got to get around the coaches, it just so happened that Henry was going there,” Carter said. “So the coaches were around more and I got to speak with them.”
The coaches were what drew Carter to Nevada most of all.
“The coaches are amazing,” Carter said. “It was a good vibe when I was there. They were straight up, they were real and I really appreciated that. They were honest. That’s something that I really valued when deciding, because they were honest with me.”
Even though Carter had some offers to play at NCAA Division 2 and 3 schools, he couldn’t shake the good feeling he had at Nevada. So, he accepted the Wolf Pack’s offer to be a preferred walk-on.
“I felt good with the coaches and I felt good when I finally went up there,” he said. “I went up there this last summer. The campus was beautiful, the coaches were cool, it just felt really good there. So, when they ended up offering, it was an easy decision.”
That combined with the fact that he will also be there with four of his former Paraclete teammates — Henry’s brother TJ Ikahihifo, Melquan Stovall and Jamaal Bell — made the decision even easier.
“The whole 661. The state championship team reunited,” Carter said, referring to Paraclete’s 2016 CIF Division 3AA State championship. “It’s pretty amazing to have that connection there, too, while you’re away. Because a lot of times you go away and it’s weird. You’ve got to adapt, because you don’t know anybody. But, going up there with people you know and people you’ve played with, people you have chemistry with, it just makes it that much better. That tied in with just loving the school, loving the coaches, loving the program, loving where the program’s going, it made an easy decision.”
Carter will be playing offensive line, center or guard for the Wolf Pack. He will start classes with an undecided major, but said he’s leaning toward kinesiology.
“I want to stay around the sport, so any way I can do that,” he said. “It looks like kinesiology is a way I can do that.”
Carter said there were a lot of people to thank for his progress up to this point, especially his parents Sheldon and Lisa Carter.
“God, No. 1 for sure, and my parents, because they push me,” Carter said. “My dad, when I wasn’t feeling going and working out, when I was feeling down, he pushed me. My mom was always in my corner.
“And my teammates, for sure. They kept me loving the game. When you’re not able to have a summer break, it gets kind of hard. So, when you get to be around teammates that become brothers, it’s amazing. So them and Henry, Melquan and my coaches. My coaches really helped me get to where I am now as a player. So, this is also their work getting to where I am now.”