Recruiting Flashback: Cris Carter

As National Signing Day approaches, will look back at recruiting profiles of several former Ohio State stars. Next up is former NFL and future Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, whose profile originally appeared in the August 1984 issue of Buckeye Sports Bulletin.

When Cris Carter was recruited by Ohio State, it was reported that he would come to Columbus because he had been assured by coach Earle Bruce and his staff that he was being recruiting to play wide receiver on offense.

Interestingly, in the annual Ohio North-South All-Star Game played in Massillon July 20, Carter caught just one pas for six yards. On the other side of the line of scrimmage, the 6-3, 184-pounder, who set a Middletown High School record with 10 interceptions last season during his only full year on defense, broke up several passes and showed he was also able to hit hard.

However, don't look for the brother of NBA veteran Butch Carter in OSU's defensive backfield. He still insists his future is on offense.

"They have two graduating receivers, but they have a handful of defensive backs returning – younger guys," Carter said of the Buckeyes. "Plus, I like to play offense better."

Carter went so far as to say that even if it looked like defense would be a faster route to starting time, he would still prefer to play offense.

And despite his sub-par all-star game, it certainly appears Carter has a future as a receiver. The 1983 All-American and two-time all-stater caught 80 passes for over 2,000 yards during his prep career.

He said that playing in the all-star game would help him be better prepared for his first camp with the Buckeyes.

"The rigorous conditioning we went through for 10 days helped me out," Carter said. "I can just take my condition program on from here. I don't think I would have been training as hard if I was at home.

"Plus the competition, playing with 66 of the best players in the state of Ohio, which is supposed to be the best state for football, puts you among some players of good standing.

"It's a simulation of what it's going to be like in college. It's going to be tough, just like it was here (in the all-star game.)"

Carter, who scored 1,600 points as a prep basketball player, chose Ohio State over Southern Cal, Pittsburgh, Michigan and North Carolina.

"The major factors were the closeness to home so that my mother would be able to see me play and the possibility of playing early in my career," the future business major said. "That, and I've always been a Buckeye fan."

In order to contribute to Ohio State early, Carter feels he must work on his foot speed. OSU assistant coach Bill Conley, Carter's coach at Middletown, lists Carter's speed at 4.6. Carter believes the strongest parts of his game at this point are his leaping ability and his ability to catch the ball.

Much of a receiver's success depends on the performance of his quarterback. However, Carter said he was not overly concerned when Buckeye starter Mike Tomczak went down with a broken leg in the annual OSU spring game.

"I felt sorry for him as a person, but Ohio State has an excellent backup quarterback in Jim Karsatos," Carter said. "I really wasn't worried about that situation."

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