It’s the time of year when rumors really start to fly in college football about which underclassmen are going to dip their toe in the pool that is the NFL, by declaring for the 2013 NFL draft. The reasons that a player would declare for a draft are varied, but for Duron Carter, the troubled son of former star wide receiver Cris Carter, it’s not about optimizing his potential and draft stock and more about having nowhere else to go.
Coming out of high school Carter was a highly touted recruit, nearing the top 10 by some high school scouting services at his position of wide receiver. And right with the script he declared at Ohio State University his father’s alma mater, and as a true freshman saw some reps and finished the season with 13 catches. But his grades were a mess and he was unable to stay with the Buckeyes.
From there he transferred to Coffeyville Community College, right here in my back yard. CCC is an elite program among JUCOs and has turned out lots of players who’ve made their way to DI schools, and there are several good players in the NFL who cut their chops with the Red Ravens. I was fortunate enough to get to see Carter play twice while he was at CCC and you could see while he was raw there was some talent there. He finished his only season at CCC with 44 catches, 10 of them going to touchdowns.
At this point it appeared he had his academics in order and was ready to head back to the grown up table, and where else would he go but the University of Alabama. The elder Carter commented at the time he felt like the structure of the Crimson Tide program would be excellent for his son, and allow him to be successful, but it never happened. Carter was once again unable to remain academically eligible, was suspended and spent his 2011 without ever playing a down for the Tide.
At this point his next stop was to transfer to Florida Atlantic, but was denied a waiver to allow him to play in 2012. The plan instead was to get his grades in order and be ready to play in 2013. But instead he spent 2012 practicing with the team, like he did Alabama in 2011, but failed to qualify and it was announced in the last week he would not be returning to FAU.
So, what’s really left for him? I doubt any school would take a shot on him at this point and it’s clear he has zero work ethic when it comes to his school work so why bother? Sounds like Carter is of the same mind and will instead put all those years of practice toward the NFL instead. Look for a formal announcement in the next week or so.
My take-Carter has nothing to lose, because he’s literally given everything away. He’s wasted four years of his life and education, and from what I have heard it was not due to lack of intelligence, just a sense of entitlement and an arrogance that makes him almost impossible to root for.
I can’t see a scenario where a team would spend a draft pick on Carter, but I’m sure some team on the endorsement of Duron’s dad will bring him in as a free agent. The shame of all this is the kid can play. He’s got nice deep speed and in the games I watched live really showed a lot of potential–but a $1 million talent can’t replace a ten cent head.