Kerry Carter Interview

Interview with Stanford's incoming football recruit Kerry Carter

Kerry Carter Interview – 4/24/99

The Bootleg: What was the school you would have gone to had you not come to Stanford?

KC: I'd probably say Michigan or Ohio State. They've got good programs there, and they have really good traditions. I think I could have gotten a chance to play early there – at both places.

The Bootleg: Did you have any feelings about Pac-10 versus Big-10? Did that matter at all to you?

KC: Well, the weather's good out here! I didn't really take it into consideration that much at the time, though most of my visits were at Big-10 schools. They were closer to home, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to go that far away from home. It all worked out.

The Bootleg: Are you feeling OK out here – liking it out here?

KC: Yeah, I love it here! It'll take a little adjustment time, but the guys have been good showing me around. The guys I'm coming in with in my class – so far, we've had a good relationship. We've been talking about next year and look to do good things.

The Bootleg: Is there anybody on the team you've met that you hit it off with yet?

KC: Willie. When I came out for my visit, he was my host. He's really outgoing. When he takes you around campus, he knows everyone, so you don't feel alienated. He gets you to know everybody, and everybody knows who you are.

The Bootleg: Other than football, do you have a second sport?

KC: I'll probably be running track.

The Bootleg: What events?

KC: Probably the 100, 200 and 1x400 relay.

The Bootleg: Do you have a feel yet in the Pac-10 for any schools and rivalries you're looking forward to playing?

KC: Of course, kal. I came here and they let me watch the game. It was a defensive battle this year, but hopefully we'll be looking towards a more offensive game this year – a little more scoring. But I feel that rivalry already because everywhere I look I see, "Go Stanford. Beat kal." I'm feeling it already.

The Bootleg: In your time here, if you can look ahead, how many Big Games are you going to help us bring home?

KC: Hopefully four or five, depending on how long I'm here.

The Bootleg: If you got to play ironman football and go both ways, what position would you want to play on the other side of the ball?

KC: Safety. I love safety. I would never tell the coaches that, though. In high school I played a lot of positions, mostly safety and linebacker.

The Bootleg: So you like the contact?

KC: Yes, definitely. I understand a lot of the details on defense, so that helps me a lot on offenses now. I know I'm going to have to come in and learn the program, but I think it will be beneficial to me that I have played (defense) before. I know what they're going to do, so I know what I have to do to counteract what they're doing.

The Bootleg: Do you prefer to run to the outside or through the tackles?

KC: I try to be the complete back and do everything. It helps if they don't know what you're about to do. If you bring in a speed guy, he'll probably go outside; a power back will go up the middle. I like it that I'm unpredictable. They don't know what I'll do. I can take it up the middle, and I can take it outside – whatever I need to do.

The Bootleg: When you decided on Stanford, was there any single factor that really helped you to come here?

KC: Everything sold me, really. I came out here and loved my visit. I met a lot of the faculty, and they seemed really down to earth. All the coaches were good. The whole coaching staff is an excellent bunch. There's also the fact that if I didn't come here, I'd regret it. I didn't want to be saying, "I could've gone to Stanford." This is the only school I really could say that about. I would maybe regret going to other schools, but I would really regret not coming here – for both the academics and athletics.

The Bootleg: Do you have a feel yet for what you might like to study here?

KC: I will probably go premed – kinesiology… somewhere along those lines. Medicine.

The Bootleg: Is there anything Stanford did to impress you during your visit different from Michigan or Ohio State?

KC: I guess it was different in that this was the only visit I took where there were other recruits. All the other ones I went really early and was pretty much by myself. I was the only recruit really there on my trips. I got one-on-one there, but I still got plenty of one-on-one treatment here. They make you feel at home on the visit; they make you feel wanted. Everyone knows about you, and everybody knows that you're coming. They're all prepared. They do their homework.

The Bootleg: Is there any back in the NFL who you most resemble right now?

KC: Right now?

The Bootleg: Or what you are trying to become?

KC: Probably Eddie George or Terrell Davis. Eddie's a big back – about 6'2", 235. I guess that is who I'm going to try to pattern my game after. My all-time favorite back is Eric Dickerson. I know Eric's out here somewhere in California. Hopefully I'll get to meet him sometime.

The Bootleg: What do you weigh right now?

KC: 230

The Bootleg: Are you going to put anymore meat on with the weights?

KC: Probably not too much right now. I'm just trying to maintain and get stronger. Hopefully I won't gain much weight this year. I want to see how I can adjust to it – see how it feels when I'm playing. I think I'll stay around here at 230 for now.

The Bootleg: What would you say, if you had to pick out one skill or asset, is your greatest strength you bring to Stanford football right now?

KC: I have a really good understanding of the game. The greatest thing I probably have is my vision on the field, seeing holes and plays develop before they happen, like some other guys might now. I won't make all the right cuts, but 90% of the time hopefully you know where to be. I try to make it easier on myself by working really hard off the field. Even now, I'm watching a lot of tapes before I get here to better understand the defenses of the Pac-10. I know it's based a lot on speed out here. Making the right cut is important. If you don't make the right cut, they're gonna straighten you out and that's it. Those linebackers running 4.4's and 4.5's… man, I'm not exactly ready for that, yet.

The Bootleg: On the flip side, what is the single part of your game that you want to improve the most?

KC: Probably my blocking. I didn't do much run-blocking in high school because I got the ball most of the time. I guess my pass-blocking is a little better than my run-blocking because I did more of it. But my blocking in general needs work.

The Bootleg: Aside from football, is there any music or group that you're in to?

KC: I don't think there's any one group. I listen to a lot of things: R&B, hip-hop and reggae. I'm originally from Trinidad, so I listen to a lot of reggae, calypso and stuff. A lot of culturally based music, since I come from Toronto, which is very culturally diverse. I got to do a lot of things with a lot of different people.

The Bootleg: Is there a favorite movie of yours?

KC: Hhmmm… that's a hard one. I can't really think of one specific movie. I just saw The Matrix and really liked that. I'm really into Sci-Fi.

The Bootleg: If you had to talk to somebody who's thinking about coming to Stanford right now, another recruit out there, what advice could you give as far as the recruiting process and picking a school?

KC: Take your time. Think it through. You'll feel it. You'll go to a school that will feel good. If you're going to doubt it, then it's probably not the right choice. And once you do pick a school, stick to it – don't change. I really don't think it's good to go back on your word… and it doesn't matter if you just said it or actually wrote it on the paper. Stick with your heart. You'll know what the right thing is to do. I know I felt this was the right place when I visited.

The Bootleg: Is there a favorite ex-Stanford player of yours?

KC: Probably John Elway. My favorite team is the Broncos, and I like Elway a lot. He went out like anyone would want to – on top.

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