The Indianapolis Colts announced Monday they have agreed to terms with wide receiver Duron Carter, son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter.
Carter, 23, established himself in the Canadian Football League the past two seasons after an abbreviated and problematic college career that saw him play just two seasons.
Undrafted in 2013, he received a tryout with the Minnesota Vikings but was not offered a contract. The 6-5, 205-pound pass catcher then signed with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, for whom he caught 124 passes for 1,939 yards and 12 TDs. He was a CFL All-Star last season, when he caught 75 passes for 1,030 yards and seven TDs.
In Week 19 last season, he was named CFL Offensive Player of the Week after catching 11 passes for 181 yards and one touchdown in a 17-14 victory over the Toronto Argonauts.
His development North of the border earned attention from NFL scouts. The Colts’ interest had been speculated for weeks, although a deal wasn’t expected to be announced until Feb. 10, when his CFL contract expired. It was later reported that Carter and the Alouettes agreed to a deal to allow him to sign earlier with an NFL team.
While his upside attracted NFL interest, Carter must prove he’s matured from the past. He lasted only the 2009 regular season at Ohio State, where his father starred, before being ruled academically ineligible for the Rose Bowl. He caught 13 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown for the Buckeyes as a freshman.
He transferred to Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College in 2010, where he recorded team highs in receiving yards (690) and touchdowns (10) and tied for second in receptions (44).
The Colts’ roster has two established wide receivers in Pro Bowl star T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, the latter a former third-round pick who showed promise as a rookie. It’s uncertain whether the team will re-sign 36-year-old star Reggie Wayne, who is about to become an unrestricted free agent after his 14th season with the Colts.
General manager Ryan Grigson’s scouting staff has a history of finding talent in the CFL. Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman solidified himself as the team’s tackle leader in 2012 and 2013 after playing in Saskatchewan, where he played three years and was a 2011 CFL All-Star. Linebacker Henoc Muamba made the roster as a reserve last season after playing three years for Winnipeg, where he was a 2013 CFL All-Star.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.