Carpenter played four seasons as a running back and linebacker at Cincinnati from 2004-07 and totaled 72 tackles, including two sacks, while contributing to the Bearcats' special teams. In 2008 he was presented the Jim Kelly Spirit Award, presented annually to the Cincinnati football player who best displayed dedication, teamwork and loyalty to the program.
While at Cincinnati, Carpenter was selected to the BIG EAST all-academic team three times. He graduated in the spring of 2008 with a degree in industrial management.
Carpenter's father, Rob, played in the NFL for 11 seasons and Jon's older brother, Bobby, is a linebacker for the Detroit Lions. Jon's younger brother, George, will be a senior linebacker at Marshall University this fall and his youngest brother, Nathan, will be a sophomore safety at Ohio University this fall.
Born Sept. 1, 1985, Carpenter is a native of Lancaster, Ohio. He is single and resides in Mishawaka.