By Bryan Johnston
Virginia Tech Sports Information
BLACKSBURG – Junior Devin Carter of the Virginia Tech wrestling team has been cleared to compete in Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestling Championship, as announced Wednesday by team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tony McPherron. Carter, from nearby Christiansburg, tore his hamstrings on Dec. 6 in a quarterfinal win over Virginia’s Joe Spisak at the Las Vegas Invitational and had surgery by McPherron to repair the injury on Dec. 16 in Blacksburg.
“Devin Carter has been released to wrestle in the ACC Wrestling Championship this coming Saturday,” McPherron said. “After sustaining a complete avulsion of his hamstrings from his pelvis at a meet in Las Vegas this past December, he has successfully undergone surgery and completed his rehabilitation for the injury. We will be monitoring him the remainder of this week and Saturday, but expect no complications with his full participation in both the ACC and hopefully NCAA Championships.”
While originally ruled out for the season with a six-month rehabilitation, Carter progressed well ahead of schedule and will now take the mat Saturday just shy of 12 weeks after surgery.
“About three months ago, I got some bad news that I’d be out for the season, and they told me I’d have a six- to nine-month recovery,” Carter said. “I worked real hard and came in for rehab twice a day and thank God for my genes because I had a huge recovery. I’m feeling good, feeling 100 percent, and I’m ready to go Saturday for ACCs. My expectations for myself are the same as it was the day before I got hurt: to win ACCs and a national championship.”
Carter was a 2012 NCAA All-American and is a two-time ACC Champion at 133 pounds. He is wrestling at 141 pounds this season and enters the ACC Championship with a 12-0 record. In this week’s TheOpenMat.com national rankings, Carter has four wins over wrestlers currently ranked: No. 4 Chris Mecate of Old Dominion (9-3), No. 6 Luke Vaith (pin), two over No. 16 Spisak of Virginia (16-6 in the dual and 14-11 in the match he was injured in). Eight of his 12 wins this season have come by pin, with one by a technical fall and one by major decision.
Carter has garnered bonus points in 64 of his 83 career wins (74.7 percent) and has 30 career pins, the third-most in school history.
Since he does not have enough matches and has been inactive for more than a month, Carter did not earn a bid to the NCAA Championships for the league at 141 pounds. He will have to place in the top five at Saturday’s meet to earn an automatic bid. If he does not, he will have to wait and see if he would earn one of the wild card spots handed out by the NCAA after all of the qualifying tournaments are completed.
“Obviously, we are surprised and excited about possibility of wrestling Devin at the ACC Championship,” Tech head coach Kevin Dresser said. “Our trainer, the surgeon, and of course, Devin, have done an outstanding job of getting him back on the mat in short order. Devin has had two really good weeks of on-the-mat training and is ready to go. I am excited to watch him compete. The kid is a freak!”
The 2014 ACC Wrestling Championship kicks off Saturday morning inside Cassell Coliseum at 10 a.m. as seven teams vie for the team title and 70 wrestlers contend for the 10 individual titles. Action runs throughout the day, with the finals slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are on sale for $5 and can be bought on hokiesports.com. Tickets are $10 the day of the event. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket. Students with a valid ACC student ID will get in for free.