Carter was listed as the third running back behind Tom Pridemore and Greg Anderson in 1974. He gained 12 yards in five carries in the fall as a tailback and he also returned five kickoffs for 87 yards, a 17.4 average. After making the transition from running back to strong safety in the fall of 1975, Carter participated in nine games in 1975.

He participated in football, basketball and track at Wellsville High School, where he earned eight varsity letters. He was a member of the All-Ohio Valley Conference, All-District and all-state football teams. He majored in social work. WVU Coach Bowden said, "Leon played tailback last fall but he will be better off on defense. His is a dedicated athlete."