TAMPA, Fla. — A former Hillsborough high school football star Zachary Carter is now moving to Cincinnati to play for the Bengals.
The defensive tackle for the Florida Gators is one of eight Tampa Bay area players taken in the draft.
Before Zach Carter become a force to be reckoned with on the Gator's defensive line, his parents remember all the hard work it took to get there. Not just from him, but from them, too.
"I remember the journeys to all of those practices, and then also to the workout facilities as well, you know, so that we started them off. We've invested a lot of funds and, you know, and workouts essentially, you know, beginning in seventh grade, eighth grade, ninth grade, you know, all the way through, you know, college level," said Frank Carter.
On draft day, they held their breath.
"I was watching the picks go by," Zach said. "I realized like the third round was coming to a hand. So you know, I was starting to get nervous. I wasn't sure if I was gonna be picked up."
But, he was.
"It's a lot of hard work behind the scenes that I had to put in a lot of people don't see. So if I wasn't disciplined, I don't think I'll be there, you know? Sacrifice. So I say discipline, sacrifice," Zach said. "You got to work. Now, this is simple. I learned that when I first got to college, like, I thought it was a secret recipe. And I did learn I just got to work with that sample. And that's what I did."
His mom said this family loves the Bucs, but they're ready to change their allegiance. She just has to get used to who she's rooting for.
"I'm from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And I've been a Tiger fan my whole life. So I instantly stopped rooting for the Tigers and started rooting for the Gators. So hey, it'll be another instant start rooting for the Bengals," Iva Carter said.