Duron Carter of Alabama Takes Similar Journey to Father Cris Carter

Walter KirkwoodAnalyst IFebruary 28, 2017

After signing day had come and gone, Alabama inked junior college wide receiver Duron Carter from Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. Carter was once a top national recruit and signed with Ohio State and played as a freshman. But like his father, his early success was followed by problems.

Cris Carter was already the leading receiver in Ohio State history when he lost his senior year of eligibility after it was discovered he had signed with an agent.

In his absence Ohio State floundered to a 6-4-1 season and coach Earle Bruce was fired, but no worries—there's always the supplemental NFL draft. 

Carter was drafted in the fourth round of the 1987 supplemental draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. His rookie season he had only five catches for 84 yards, but that did include two touchdowns.

In 1988 his production went up to 39 receptions and 761 yards, and he had the look of a rising star. However, off the field drugs and alcohol were taking control of Cris Carter, and he was let go by the Eagles in 1989.

Carter was given a second chance with the Minnesota Vikings in 1990, and he made the best of it. He languished as a backup that season, but by the following year he became a starter and had his best season to date. Carter went on to set most of the Vikings' receiving records while earning eight straight Pro Bowl appearances.

Carters finished his NFL career behind only Jerry Rice in career receptions and touchdowns by a receiver.

His son Duron started out similarly.

A towering 6'3", 185-lb. receiver, Duron was an Under Armour All-American at St. Thomas Aquinas, where he was part of back-to-back state championship teams. As a senior he had 39 receptions for 739 yards and 14 touchdowns.

After signing with Ohio State, Duron played sparingly his freshman season but showed promise. Off-field issues, however, eventually took him down.

Unlike his father, grades were an issue with Duron. He had to withdraw and take the junior college route.

At Coffeyville Community College, Carter got his grades in order and caught 44 balls for 690 yards and 10 touchdowns.

In the quiet after national signing day, Duron signed with Nick Saban to become an Alabama receiver eligible to play this fall.

Like his father, Duron Carter has a second chance at the big time. Hopefully, like his father, he will make the best of it and go on to become a star in the NFL. Duron is bigger than his father. Having grown another inch or two since high school, he's not listed as 6'4" and over 200 lbs.

With Alabama having lost big receiver Julio Jones to the NFL, Carter has a role tailor-made for him with the Crimson Tide.

Nobody is expecting Duron Carter to be Julio Jones. Jones was the total package: big, strong, committed, good hands and blazing speed. Carter is nearly as big as Julio but lacks his breakaway speed.

Still, Julio's value as a receiver had more to do with his ability to make tough catches in traffic and get extra yards. Duron Carter can do that.

On film he looks amazingly similar to the former Alabama receiver, who is now with the Atlanta Falcons.

The door may be open, but it's not going to be an easy door to enter. Alabama already has two experienced starters at receiver and several more with experience. Alabama also has several highly ranked recruits who are not really interested in redshirting.

If Duron Carter can succeed at Alabama, his chances of following his father into the NFL are looking good.