Not every player can be a star on the OU Football team. Many players have to find a role where they can be successful on the team and where they can find playing time. Such is the case with senior safety Jason Carter, who has made his mark on special teams and as a key back-up at safety and knowing the assignment of every position on defense.
JC, as he is called by his teammates and coaches, will play his last game on Owen Field Saturday against Texas Tech and he recently sat down with OUInsider.com for the Two Minute Drill.
JH: What do you think about the Tech game being you last game at home?
JC: "I can't play here forever, I can't play forever."
JH: What are you going to miss most when your playing career is over at OU?
JC: "Just being in this room (OU meeting room) with 12 other guys who make up the defensive back group. I have been somewhat of a mentor to a lot of them and I am really going to miss that a lot. I am going to miss running out of the tunnel every home game, and just feeling the crowd every time something good happened for the defense or offense or special teams. I am going to miss that a lot, but you have got to live with it sometime."
JH: What has been your favorite part of playing football at OU?
JC: "My favorite part is coming in here and watching this motivational film that they (coaches) have set up for us. That really gets me pumped up for the game. Even thought it is an hour-and-a-half or so before the game, I am ready to go right after the video. That is my favorite part of actually coming to the home games. Riding the bus in and all that is alright, but once you get into this room and sit down and you start to feel that everybody is ready to play. Then they cut that film on and it is all over from right there. You have to just go leave it on the field."
JH: What has been your favorite senior moment?
JC: "I can't really think of one off of the top of my head, but I am sure there are several that I could talk about. We have all come so far. We have friends who came in with us who are now either playing professional football, or some of them are just sitting at home eating chicken every now and then (laughs).
"So you can kind of get the feel of how we feel right now. It is kind of like we are ready to get it over with, and then it is kind of like we don't want to yet. I don't know what I am going to feel like after Saturday, because I won't be able to get back out there (Owen Field) in a uniform ever."
JH: Is it going to be an emotional day for you?
JC: "It wil,l but I won't show it to any of these young guys or anything. I don't want to have them to see me like that. I guarantee that once I go home a lot of my family is going to be down here, so they are going to be at the house. We are going to get to talking and I am going to get to reminiscing about the four years that I had on the field, and the extra year that I had watching the older guys in front of me. So it will be a real emotional game for me once the game is over when I finally realize that I will never smell that grass again as a player."
JH: You have not reached your goal as a starter, but you have found a niche for yourself on this football team in a number of different ways, wouldn't you agree?
JC: "They brought me in to make plays. I thought I was going to start several years here, but other guys came in behind me and the coaches have been really upbeat with those players. I just had to find my place here and actually do a job. I have been trying to do that whether that has been as a back-up or a guy who is going to go do something on special teams. I found what I could do and the coaches like it. I am pleased with I have been doing. It could have been a lot better, but I am happy for what I have done."
JH: I was on the field at Texas Tech last year when it was late in the game and Bobby Jack needed you to go in at a different position than you normally play. You told him not to sweat it because you knew what to do, and then you went out and made a big play if I remember correctly?
JC: "Every time that coach is in here teaching these guys something on the board, I am helping him out. No, coach, this is what we have to do right here. I am helping him out in just his second year with the DB group. In that game, they put me in a bad situation with the ball on the three-yard line. I come in and I am like, OK, I know two things can happen. They can run it or they can throw it to Chijioke's guy. Luckily, they threw it there and I knew it was coming and I stepped in front of the guy and got the interception.
"I was trying to go 100 and something yards. I wasn't trying to down it, because there wasn't no downing it in me. My career was short right there, so I was trying to take it all the way in. Coach Wright knows that at any point in the game that if he needs me for anything, I know what to do. I might not have had the best game against Oregon, but at any time or any circumstance he needs another guy that will go in there and get the job done, he can throw me in there in a split second at any position in the secondary."
JH: When the Sooners get pressure on a punter it is usually you getting it. How do you do it?
JC: "That is my secret on how I go."
JH: You are not going to tell us?
JC: "I just go. As soon as they snap the ball, I just go even though I know Coach Stoops doesn't like me doing it."
JH: You mean you are doing something different than what you are supposed to be doing with the punt return unit?
JC: "Nope, that is just straight me. I am supposed to be helping my best partner out (Reggie) and help him get some good return yards and everything and let everybody know that you have to block these guys too so he can get some return yards. At the same time, I am like, shoot, if I can go block one why not? So every time I block one it has just been me."
JH: How many seconds do you have to make that decision?
JC: "One. When I get ready to go do down in my stance and when he gets ready to hike it, I have already made that decision right before he gets ready to hike it. I say, 'Alright, Reggie, there are 10 other guys who are going to help you. This time I am gone.' I am trying to go block it. I am trying to get a block and a touchdown or something. I haven't got one yet, but I guarantee next time they say Jason Carter you can do what you want, I am going to go do it."
JH: Do you see a seam or just a look in the linemen's eyes?
JC: "No, I can just physically beat the guy in front of me. That is all I want to do is beat them with my speed. He might be stronger than me, but he doesn't know if I am going to block him or if I am going to pressure the punt. I just try to throw him off at the beginning by where I line-up. I might line-up a little inside this time and come back the next one and line-up straight up on him. He would never know if I am going to go block him or go for the punt."
Two Minute Drill: Jason Carter
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