Kansas University's thin defensive line just got a little deeper.
Kareem Carter, a 6-foot-6, 270-pounder from Santa Monica (Calif.) Community College, has signed a letter of intent to play football for KU this fall.
Carter should help fill the void left by the dismissal of defensive end Adrian Greene. Greene sat out last season for academic reasons and was expected to regain academic eligibility, but he was dismissed from the team by coach Terry Allen in the offseason.
``Kareem's a big kid, but he runs real well,'' Santa Monica coach Robert Taylor said. ``He runs a 4.7, 4.8 (-second 40-yard dash). He made all-state, and that's darn near juco All-American. We've got the best junior colleges in the country. And he was all-conference first team in the Western states at defensive end. He's good.''
Taylor said Carter also had scholarship offers from California, Temple and Eastern Kentucky. Carter said he was recruited heavily by most of the Pac-10 teams, but concerns about his eligibility cooled their interest.
``He had three or four deals,'' Taylor said. ``He's definitely a Division One prospect, no doubt about that.''
Carter still must graduate from Santa Monica. He's enrolled in summer school and his semester won't end until Aug. 13, eight days after newcomers report to camp.
``I had some party days here and got into trouble academic-wise,'' Carter said. ``I had a little trouble with maturity, but I grew up. There's no question I'm going to graduate here. I'm going to get there late, but there's nothing I can do about that. I don't think I should have a problem.''
Carter had eight sacks as a sophomore, but neither player nor coach recalled his tackling stats.
``He's best suited to play outside,'' Taylor said, ``but if you pack a few more pounds on him, he might be able to play inside. Tall inside tackles are hard to find. He should add some things to Kansas, and before it's over he'll probably start for them.''
Carter, meanwhile, feels lucky just to get a grant.
``I got lucky and got myself a scholarship,'' he said. ``I'm real excited to come down there. I had faith that I'd find a school. I was looking at Cal out of high school, and they wanted me. Schools that were recruiting me assumed I was going there. But they took a scholarship from the defensive line for a wide receiver they wanted. Each time I got a call from a new school, they said they thought I had signed with Cal.
``I really like Kansas. It's a good fit. I like the opportunity to come in and make something happen, and I'd like to play right away. I like the environment and the coaching staff. It seemed like they had big plans for the season.''