Aug. 28, 2011
By Matt Winkeljohn
You overhear a Georgia Tech football player talking about a hand/fingerprint scan, an eye scan and entry into the Library of Congress, and what comes to mind? He’s talking about a movie, right?
Morgan Carter wasn’t talking about a flick the other day. The Georgia Tech linebacker recounted his summer internship with the United States Supreme Court, and spoke of retrieving a copy of part of the Magna Carta.
“A miracle is how I got [the position],” he said. “I would say knowing the right people, but… even that doesn’t guarantee anything. Thousands and thousands of people apply, and I had to interview, and write and present myself.”
Great as Carter’s experience was, it was not part of his master plan.
Dating back to before his transfer from Rutgers last year, when he walked onto the football team, he had another calling in mind — medicine or a related field.
Soon after he arrived on the Flats after two years at Rutgers, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he transferred for a distinct set of reasons.
“Georgia Tech is unlike any other; it’s the No. 1 school for black engineers. Seeing as I wanted to be a biomedical engineer, [and] I wasn’t able to do that at Rutgers… Atlanta’s a great area, not only to be in and live in, but to network in especially,” Carter said last summer.
“[Head coach Paul] Johnson was telling me how he really pushes students to go out and get internships, and he actually brings in businesses to talk to players… so that after football is over, when the majority of players aren’t playing professional ball, they have connections. That sealed the deal.”
As it has turned out, Carter’s future in medicine or engineering was not sealed. Connections made? Well, duh.
Now, onto a change of direction…
Carter’s volunteer work at a drug rehabilitation center in Atlanta and time spent working with the homeless changed his path yet again.
“Some gentlemen in prison and halfway houses — some guys that were my age — when you speak to them it really hurts your heart,” the Woodbridge, Va., native said. “I wanted to be a doctor for the longest time, but when I experienced that [work] I felt like that was my calling; God spoke to me.
“I wanted to get involved in law, and what better opportunity than working with the Supreme Court of the United States?”
If Roddy Jones — whom wide receiver Tyler Melton has suggested will one day be president of the United States — should rise to the White House, perhaps he’ll one day appoint a certain 6-foot-4, 225-pound reserve outside linebacker to the highest court in the land.
Carter would know his way around, at least a little.
“I worked for Gary Kemp, deputy clerk of the Supreme Court,” the young man said. “I basically facilitated the process from a potential petitioner… calling and asking what they needed to do. There are so many rules and stipulations. I was learning how to format documents, reading petitions, learning about laws.”
The Supreme Court, as always, had a busy summer. The Wal-Mart sexual bias ruling and the Court’s judgment on the final attempt by the estate of the late Anna Nicole Smith to score $300 million from the estate of her former billionaire husband came down while Carter was in Washington.
“So much work goes into cases like that,” he said. “There’s rooms and rooms of files and folders… there were 38 or 40 boxes of paperwork just for the Anna Nicole Smith trial. That took years. That was not her real name, by the way.”
Hmmm. I wonder if Morgan Carter is this young man’s real name. Intrigue surrounds Tech’s national young man of intrigue.