The son of the former Ohio State and NFL record-breaking wideout enrolled in summer courses in Columbus and is preparing for his freshman season with the Buckeyes. A solid fall camp could put him in position to earn significant playing time as a freshman, but already the comparisons are coming in to how his father played.
Those comparisons are coming from head coach Jim Tressel himself, who was the OSU wide receivers coach during the 1985 season when Carter led the team with 58 catches for 950 yards.
"One of the balls in perimeter that he caught going across the middle, he put those long arms out and I thought, ‘That looks a little bit like (his dad),' " Tressel said.
Tressel was quick to point out that the younger Carter has had a number of opportunities his father was not privy to while growing up. For example, Duron enrolled for courses in June and spent the summer working out with the team during unsupervised 7-on-7 drills.
It has led to a more polished athlete than a coach would have received 20 years ago. It also led to a less-than-desirable beginning for one of the most prolific targets in NFL history.
"Cris' first practice here at Ohio State, I was the receivers coach and he was terrible," Tressel said. "He couldn't run a route, he tripped and fell and he hadn't had many experiences."
It was just the latest in a long line of comparisons to his father that Carter has been exposed to during his playing career. In addition to the fact that the two play the same position, Duron is listed at 6-2, 190 pounds. His father's NFL biography page lists him at 6-3, 205 pounds.
"It's part of the job, basically," Duron said of the comparisons to his father. "It's part of what you do."
During his prep career, Carter led Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas to back-to-back state titles. As a senior, he caught 39 passes for 739 yards and 14 touchdowns and was selected to play in the Under Armour All-America game. Scout.com ranked him the No. 10 wide receiver prospect in the country.
Of the three freshman wide receivers on this year's roster, Carter appears to be the most likely to see early playing time.
"Definitely a lot of playing time coming in as a freshman is great," he said of his goals. "There's a lot of great guys in front of me. It's a competition but there's no bad blood and we know whoever is the best player is going to play."
Carter's situation is helped by the fact that the Buckeyes must replace at least two wide receivers from last year's team. Top receivers Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline are gone to the NFL, and fourth-leading wideout Ray Small is not on the team as he awaits what his father said is an academic situation to clear up.
Tressel mentioned Carter by name as one player who could potentially benefit from Small's absence, and the player himself said he feels he has a different skill set than some of his counterparts.
"I'm a new player," Carter said. "I've been under the wing of DeVier Posey and Taurian Washington and they taught me a lot through the summer. Hopefully I can bring whatever I need to and play for Ohio State."
Asked what he likes to do best on the field, Carter said, "I like to hit, blocking and stuff. That's the best part. If you're scared to hit in football, you don't need to be playing."
Although playing in Columbus meant going to his father's alma mater, Carter said he would have been playing in his shadow regardless of where he would have gone to school.
"It wasn't really about making my own name because it would still be there no matter where I went," he said. "I felt like Ohio State, they put a lot of receivers in the pros and that's where I aspire to be in the future. I trust (wide receivers) coach (Darrell) Hazell. He's put a lot of great receivers in the pros that aren't just there but are starters catching touchdowns and doing what they need to do."
The season does not start until Sept. 5th, but the younger Carter was up to the task of being compared to his father for at least one day.
"He didn't trip and fall like his dad did that first day," Tressel said. "He's got a long way to go to be as good as his dad was from day two on."