The heir apparent to Jadeveon Clowney?

I heard the reference inside the press box covering a bowl game involving an SEC team last season and I tend to agree — Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter, all 6-foot-6, now 245 pounds of him, is comparable to one of college football’s most athletic pass rushers of this generation.

Like Clowney, Carter was a situational talent on the outside early as a true freshman before showcasing his skills over the season’s final stretch with five starts. Carter opened the eyes of many at Kentucky, bullying his way to nine tackles and 2.5 sacks against a team that wasn’t prepared for his ability.

He contributed 41 tackles, 4.5 sacks and seven tackles-for-loss as one of the Bulldogs’ most dependable pass rushers. More than half of those totals came in November when the game began to slow down for the five-star signee.

Carter ended his freshman campaign with a team-best eight stops during the bowl win over Louisville.

“I’ve got to do more,” Carter said last week according to the Athens Banner-Herald. “More than I did last year. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. I feel faster than ever.”

Second-year assistant Jeremy Pruitt plans on unleashing the hybrid outside linebacker-defensive end now that Georgia’s leader of the defense understands the piece he’s working with in the middle of his unit. Carter’s one of three Bulldogs linebackers tasked with stopping the run and getting after the quarterback, joining Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd, two veterans he was expecting to play behind when he signed.

“I think we’ll find a way to get all three of us on the field,” Carter said. “The best players are going to play. We’re just out there competing right now to see who’s the best.”

Like the Texans, who have utilized Clowney (pre-injury) as an outside linebacker who can put his hand in the dirt opposite of J.J. Watt, the Bulldogs intend on doing the same with Carter who has worked on his coverage duties in the flat and across the middle this spring.

Carter can easily matchup with any tight end he’ll face in the Eastern Division and has the speed and bulk to handle physical wide receivers inching toward the sticks.

Clowney’s best season came as a sophomore when South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward took the reins off his prized defender on his way toward a school-record 13 sacks as the nation’s best player on his side of the football.

I’m not saying Carter will approach a nation-leading sack total this fall, but he certainly has the talent to exceed double digits in that category if Pruitt finds a way to let him roam at the line of scrimmage as an occasional end and edge blitzer.

Georgia’s equipped with arguably the SEC’s most talented core of linebackers in 2015 and Carter’s the next All-American caliber star once Floyd and Jenkins depart in 2016.