Duron Carter’s Long Road to the Colts


Early in the offseason, the Indianapolis Colts scored a potential victory in the way of a free agent signing. They managed t0 snag the highly sought after wide receiver Duron Carter. A talented, but troubled, player with a great lineage.

Duron is the son of Cris Carter, Hall of Fame wide receiver who played for 16 years in the NFL. The elder Carter ranks fourth all-time in receptions (just behind Marvin Harrison).

Duron’s problem has never been a lack of talent. He’s 6-5 and 205-pounds and able to do just about everything you want from your wide receiver.

Stephen Holder, at the IndyStar, has a great piece today on Duron’s circuitous route to the NFL and the Colts.

The problem with Duron is that he bounced from college to college and eventually ended up in the Canadian Football League. He was immature, really didn’t like school, and had failed drug tests.

We won’t break down the entire article, but it’s a very interesting read, well worth your time. Here are some of the highlights though:

Aug 3, 2013; Canton, OH, USA; Cris Carter (right) poses with his son Duron Carter and the bust of the elder Carter at the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

His father is impressed with just how far he has come.

"“That little kid told me a long time ago, ‘I’m going to play in the NFL,’ ” Cris said. “And he’s on the Colts now. Wow! Me playing the game makes it even more amazing because I know how hard it is to get a spot, even to get a tryout — let alone the route he took to get there.”"

During their brief tenure at Ohio State, Duron and Jonathan Newsome were roommates.

"“We end up there at Ohio State and did a lot of crazy stuff together and we were both ineligible because of it,” said Colts linebacker Jonathan Newsome, Duron’s roommate in Columbus. “We had to get it together.”Duron takes no issue with this assessment.“We were having a whole bunch of fun and I just didn’t go to class,” he says. “Like, I literally just made that decision. It wasn’t that I was oversleeping or anything. I just didn’t want to go. And at the end of the semester, I had too many absences to pass my classes. I was technically passing my classes. But Ohio State only allowed so many unexcused absences. I really didn’t realize what I was doing.”"

Duron went from flunking out of Ohio State to junior college. From there, he went to Alabama to play football again. He ended up being redshirted at Alabama due to a technicality. He missed a deadline for a paper in junior college which changed his graduation date. That missed deadline potentially cost him millions as he could have excelled in the SEC and been drafted into the NFL years ago, Duron always had first round talent.

But while redshirted he failed  drug test and was kicked out of Alabama too. He ended up at Florida Atlantic and nearly quit.

"“We had, literally, 1,000 bricks, and we had to move them all the way across the field,” Duron recalls. “I was like, ‘Man, I’m here at FAU. I was at Alabama and Ohio State. Is this even worth it?’ That was my breaking point. I said, ‘Man, I’m done with football. If this is what it takes, I’m not going to do it.’ “"

Cris was scared that his son’s dream would be dead too.

"“I was scared to death, I really, really was,” Cris said. “I’ve seen so many talented athletes not do it the right way. … I know so many people who have tremendous regret in their life. And I felt like if he was not able to play in the NFL, he would have had a tremendous amount of regret, no matter what kind of career he went into. He would still have regrets that he should have played some amount of time in the league. He had the ability and the opportunity. And that would make it hard to move on in life.”"

Duron may have signed a three year deal with the Colts, but he’s still going to have an uphill battle in front of him. He’s going to be fighting for snaps this season and right now for the fourth spot on the depth chart.

The Colts have all kinds of talent at wide receiver and Duron gives the team one more piece to play with.