Andy Gottesman / The Lantern
Freshman Carter looks to follow in the footsteps of a legend at wide receiver
With every yard, touchdown and catch, Duron Carter is closer to following in his father’s footsteps.
The freshman wide receiver has made an early impact this season and has found himself getting reps in three-wide formations.
With a background like his, it is easy to understand how Carter has capitalized on his opportunities.
Ohio State has a fine legacy of wide receivers, and like any young recruit, Carter will have to live up to their past achievements. Names like Joey Galloway, Terry Glenn and more recently Ted Ginn Jr. and Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes are just some of the past legends to wear scarlet and grey.
However, before any of those wideouts made their name at OSU, the Buckeyes’ first great receiver was Duron’s Carter’s father, Cris.
When Cris Carter’s career came to an end at OSU after three seasons, he held the all-time record for receptions and was also the Buckeyes’ first All-American at wide receiver. He was so smooth and athletic that some believed he might be the best to ever play the position. The eight-time Pro Bowler finished second in touchdown receptions for his career and is a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer.
“I remember growing up and always being at my dad’s football games,” Duron Carter said. “I’ve been around football my whole life and always wanted to play. My dad has taught me almost everything he knows and it’s been great having a life full of football.”
As a young player trying to improve his game, nothing can be better for Carter than having a father who has practically perfected his position. Using all of the elder Carter’s knowledge of the game could be key in making him the player he wants to be.
“He’s taught me the little knowledge things like running routes and getting the shoulders down, little things that make a big difference playing receiver,” Carter said.
Both father and son stand 6 feet 3 inches and it is obvious that most will find similarities between the two. However, Carter sees this as one of the few drawbacks in his situation, and said it is difficult being compared to “one of the best players to ever play the game.”
Being a Buckeye was a dream come true for Carter, but he was not pushed toward it because of family ties. Interestingly enough, maize and blue were the colors that first attracted his attention.
“I came on a visit my sophomore year, and I liked it a lot,” Carter said. “It was the place I wanted to go. It was either between here and the University of Florida, and I felt here would be a better place to develop me as a receiver.
“I was a Michigan fan. I used to like Braylon Edwards a lot. He always made the spectacular catch, and that’s always something I wanted to do.”
Carter’s impact thus far on his team might have been predicted by him or his coaches, but some believed it was his name that was garnering him attention during the recruiting process, and not his ability.
“I thought it was pretty funny,” Carter said. “I remember going into the All-American game, I was like the No. 92 overall receiver, then after, they bumped me up to No. 11. It’s kind of comical what people say when they’ve never seen you play before.”
Carter’s high school experience was also a great help to him. St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida is a high school powerhouse, and was awarded the 2008 High School National Championship. He was a big part of their success the past two seasons, and is trying to translate what he learned there to the collegiate level.
“I really went up against the best competition daily,” Carter said. “There are plenty of cornerbacks from St. Thomas. They’re eventually going to be the top product in the NFL and college football. Just going up against the best and getting reps against the best really prepares you.”
Carter’s first touchdown grab came at Indiana on Oct. 3rd. However, it was one of his fierce blocks that caught the attention of his teammates.
He said while scoring was great, he really enjoyed his punishing block because he loves to hit and get everyone on his team fired up.
Although the name “Carter” will remain the same on the back of his jersey, Duron is determined to make a legacy all his own, and after 18 years, there really isn’t much more his dad can say.
“We don’t really talk about football that much,” Carter said about his dad. “There’s really not much to talk about anymore.”