2013 Pac 12 Breakout Player to Watch: Alex Carter, Stanford Cardinal
The Stanford Cardinal broke through in 2012 and won the Pac 12 title thanks to a physical defense that shut down opposing offenses. In 2013, they will need some breakout performances from a number of individuals to repeat as conference champions, but they certainly have the talent to get it done. One of the key contributors in 2013 to getting them there will be sophomore cornerback Alex Carter. Is he poised to burst onto the scene as one of the Pac 12’s best young corners?
As a true freshman in 2012, Carter showed flashes of elite ability. He played in all 14 games for Stanford last season, starting eight of them, recording 46 tackles, three forced fumbles and a pass breakup. He’s part of a talented quartet of cornerbacks in Palo Alto this fall with one of the best safety duos in the country backing him up. With a full offseason under his belt, look for Carter to start carving out a bigger role for himself in the Cardinal secondary.
If he can start to create more turnovers with his play, David Shaw will have one of the best ball-hawking secondaries in the entire country. Paired with Ed Reynolds at safety and his six interceptions from 2012 (three of which he returned for touchdowns), throwing against Stanford would become a dicey proposition for opposing offenses. Carter has the opportunity to really take the next step in his development and become a truly dynamic playmaker this fall.
Is this the year that Carter steps up and breaks out of the pack to become an elite shut-down corner for Stanford?