UF's Zachary Carter plans to play in honor COVID-19 fighters, victims
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UF's Zachary Carter plans to play in honor COVID-19 fighters, victims

Florida defensive end Zachary Carter.
Florida defensive end Zachary Carter. (USA TODAY SPORTS)

Florida defensive end Zachary Carter missed the start of fall camp due to COVID-19 concerns, but is looking forward to playing this season in honor of those who've been affected by the virus.

His father, Frank Carter, told Gators Territory on Monday that he had a severe case and two friends of their family recently passed away from COVID-19. Those events have taken a toll on Carter, who took to Twitter on Thursday.

"Been in deep thought lately since COVID-19 had my dad at his lowest in July and August," he tweeted. "Then on August 3, my mom's friend of 29 years died of COVID-19. She was a true Gator fan who came to a lot of my games. Looking forward to ballin out in honor of all COVID-19 fighters and victims."

His father said Monday Carter had not made a decision to opt-out, just that he was "taking the cautious route" and could return to action if he feels safer about the situation. He said his son also had concerns about the postponement of fall sports by the Big Ten and Pac-12, as well as reports of players with myocarditis.

But Carter tweeted "17 mode" with two battery emojis on Wednesday, and appears to be charged up for this season despite missing the start of practice.