Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
IRVING, Texas -- The most interesting appearance of Big 12 media days came from Texas Tech offensive lineman Brandon Carter, who enlivened the festivities by showing off a brand new tattoo on the shaved left side of his head.
Playing off his greenish-tinted Mohawk, the newest of Carter's seven tattoos featured an angry looking skull sitting atop an intricate spider web.
Carter said the tattoo was developed from a sketch he took to a tattoo artist earlier this week.
His menacing look and numerous tattoos on both arms and his head have helped make the 6-foot-7, 354-pound senior one of the most noticeable players in the Big 12.
"Opposing fans throw batteries," Carter said. "It's kind of fun."
Tech coach Mike Leach said that Carter's unconventional look belies his true nature as one of the Red Raiders' most valuable leaders.
"He's got the highest test score on our team and he's a ridiculously articulate person," Leach said. "I remember he hadn't had German or anything and he had the class, so he was taking something like German II because it fit his schedule better. And then, of course, he did real well."
Carter will be one of the key players as the Red Raiders try to rebuild from last season's 11-2 team that shared the Big 12 South title with Texas and Oklahoma.
He'll be one of two returning starters along with tackle Marlon Winn. The Red Raiders gain a lot of their energy from Carter, Leach said.
"He's a real intense guy before the game," Leach said. "He's one of those guys that wishes we were playing a doubleheader instead of one game. Brandon plays really intense. And he's disappointed the game's over. You're talking about just a huge, gigantic person ambling around, diving at stuff, hitting stuff, wrecking stuff and then looks up at the clock and he's upset that it's over."
Carter said that the tattoos are occasionally painful, but he's willing to go to great lengths to get the right look.
"I like the one on my back," Carter said. "It took me eight months to get it. I had to be dedicated to that. But once you get a tattoo over your spinal cord, you don't ever want to get a tattoo again. It's brutal, but I got through with it."
More tattoos are likely in his future and Carter even suggests that Leach consider getting a tattoo or a body piercing.
"I think he should get a septum pierce in the nose or maybe get a cheek pierce," Carter said. "It would really help his look."
But Leach didn't sound ready.
"It's really not my cup of tea," Leach said. "He asked me if I want to get one. But as I've pointed out, it looks very good on him."