The wideout is on a mission to break the records set by his former teammate and good friend Freddie Milons, who himself missed last season with Philadelphia Eagles due to injury. Carter was challenged by Milons to break his records or else.
"I will break Freddie's record this year," Carter said. "He told me that if I don't break his record, he won't talk to me anymore and that's a friendship that I want to keep."
Despite being the Tide's first "bionic" receiver with a titanium rod--the same material used in the space shuttle, in his leg--Carter has not taken to self-pity after the stress fracture struck him for the second time.
"Everything that I've heard about A.C. is all positive," Tide offensive coordinator and wide receiver coach Eric Price said. "He did a good job this spring of still being involved and being a leader for that group."
Carter spent last season on the shelf as the stress fracture in his right leg refused to heal properly after a rod was inserted into the bone. Earlier this year, Carter had yet another rod implanted in his damaged tibia and was forced to sit out spring drills.
Carter this season will play with his third quarterback, Brodie Croyle, and is the only player remaining from Alabama's 1999 SEC Championship game, giving the Tide a valued veteran presence in the locker room and in the huddle.
"I know the game more from the mental side now," Carter said, after serving as a student coach during spring. "I learned the game more mentally, and I think that's how it should be learned."
The Tallahassee native found other ways to contribute during spring drills. Carter did not miss a single practice in the spring, taking maximum advantage to both learn the offense and coach his younger teammates using every bit of his five years of football experience. This let him to see the new Price offense from the view of the coaching staff, allowing him to become a coach on the field for the Tide.
"This injury was definitely a blessing in disguise," Carter said. "I've been waiting for this offense."
Next year the wide receiver's talents will be needed more than ever. While he and the other top wide receivers (Triandos Luke, Zach Fletcher, Dre Fulgham and Brandon Greer) all have game experience, the rest of the receiving corps has seen little or no action. Even a single injury at this vital position could spell disaster for the pass-oriented offensive system of Mike Price.
"AC actually helped me coach this spring," Receivers Coach Eric Price said. "But I'm looking forward to when he steps back on the field."
Carter is looking forward to again hearing the calls of "Deuuuuce" from the Bryant-Denny crowd as he carries on the tradition of exciting Tide players wearing the No. 2 jersey. Carter could return to kick return duties next season, but his injury makes it more likely that he'll play exclusively at wideout.
When healthy, Carter is one of the best speed receivers in the college game, possessing reliable hands and excellent agility. He relies on his shiftiness to get separation on larger corners and would give the Tide yet another deep threat along with larger wideouts Zach Fletcher and Dre Fulgham.
In the Price system of four wide receivers, single back sets, favorable matchups will occur downfield, especially when matched up against slower, less agile defenders. Carter looks to take advantage of those with his rocket-like speed. At a high school combine, Carter was clocked at a blistering 4.26 in the 40-yard dash.
The 5-9 Carter began his career at the Capstone back in 1999, when he was a vital cog in the run for the SEC Championship game. Carter put in a career day in the Tide's upset of Florida in "the Swamp," catching nine passes for 93 yards and a score. That season, Carter hauled in three touchdown passes and caught 29 receptions for 280 yards, good for second on the team to Milons.
Carter in high school played six positions and did everything possible of a speedy skill position player, playing defensive back, some running back, returning kicks--even pulling duty under center.
According to Carter, he definitely sees a career in coaching after his football career finally ends. When he does take up a whistle, a job offer will be on the table.
"If I'm ever a head coach, I'm going to hire him," Eric Price said.