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Around Alamo: A Golden UCD Player
For one young man, perseverance and character have proven to be the keys to his success. Chris Carter, 22, a 2005 graduate of San Ramon Valley High School, remembers falling in love with football at a very young age.
“I started playing football for the T-Birds in sixth grade and long before that on the playground,” said Chris, who recently returned from the NFL combine in Indianapolis as one of 33 wide receivers among a total of 300 players invited nationally.
His high school awards would make anyone proud: Co-MVP, Peter Villa Award for Outstanding Player, Times’ Cream of the Crop, All League Offense First Team.
Although Chris — a 6-foot, 190-pound player — had a stellar senior year, most of the major college football programs had already tapped into their recruits and the larger schools were targeting bigger wide receivers.
UC Davis recruited him in January 2005 with Chris receiving one of the first full scholarships offered by Davis and he signed his letter of intent. He redshirted his freshman year and was awarded the George Belenis Award for outstanding redshirt.
The following year he was named Great West Conference Rookie of the Year, named to the Great West Conference 2nd Team and won the Mike Wise Award for outstanding freshman.
Despite a knee injury that sidelined him most of his sophomore year, Chris went on to prove himself again his junior year and was named to the Great West Conference 1st Team, selected Great West Conference Player of the Week and the Team’s Offensive Player of the Week on three separate occasions that season. This past season Chris was the second UC Davis player ever to be selected as the Great West Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
He also broke school records with 213 career receptions as well as a record for the number of receptions in a single game, 18. He was awarded the Jerry Norris Award as “Most Valuable Player and Most Inspirational” at the UC Davis football banquet where Coach Bob Biggs reflected on more than Chris’ athletic abilities and skill on the football field.
He talked about his willingness to do what was needed at the time such as blocking, catching short passes over the middle to get the first downs and coaching the younger players, which all contributed to Chris’ character. Because of his earlier knee injury, he opted for reconstructive surgery in December after the football season and is healing remarkably. Despite his surgery, Chris was invited to the combine but was not able to run drills and timings. However, he took part in the NFL combine interviews and medical examinations. Even though he sat out the drills, Chris said the experience was phenomenal.
“Getting invited to the combine was incredible. It was a once in a lifetime experience getting to meet some of the best players in college football as well as the coaches and scouts in the NFL,” he said. He met players like and Toby Gerhardt and Colt McCoy.
The NFL is paying for Chris to return for a combine recheck in April and he will get to run some of the drills he missed. He typically runs the 40-yard dash in 4.46.
Chris is the epitome of dedication and determination. He applied those traits, working hard to break all kinds of records and got the attention of the NFL.
Way to go, Chris, and best of luck!
By Caterina Mellinger, Contra Costa Times