Duron Carter describes himself as an average Joe, although that’s obviously an understated self-appraisal.
Not everyone can say they’re the son of an NFL Hall of Famer. Cris Carter is his dad.
And the NFL doesn’t always give players second chances. Carter, 24, had his eyes opened when the Minnesota Vikings didn’t keep him after a tryout in 2013.
Two years in the Canadian Football League translated to 124 receptions for 1,939 yards and 12 touchdowns. His productive stint with the Montreal Alouettes led to this opportunity with the Indianapolis Colts, who signed a three-year, $1.575 million deal.
Carter, like his father in his youth, struggled with immaturity, by his own admission. That’s why he lasted only one season at his dad’s alma mater, Ohio State. Academic issues in college didn’t get him another chance to play.
He admits to being a “chill” guy, someone who didn’t realize the importance of taking his opportunities seriously. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound pass catcher with a knack for big plays intends to make amends now with the Colts.
“Oh yeah, just everyday just coming into the facility. It feels great driving in,” he said of this chance. “I got my own little key card. I’m a Colt. It’s a dream come true.”
He said Wednesday, three days into offseason training activities, that it’s been a tremendous learning experience.
“Different concepts, different names of routes and just different ways of running routes,” he said. “We’ve got a good receivers coach teaching us different ways to run and to get out of our breaks. I’m definitely excited.”
He shares the sentiments of Johnson and others in his admiration for three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Andrew Luck. Carter, like Johnson, has said the opportunity to play with Luck was a tremendous drawing card.
“He’s great,” Carter said. “I’ve never been around a quarterback like him. He’s just so in-depth with detail. If we miss a route, we’ve got to run it again. Everything is precise and to the point. That’s what you need.”
He’s also a fan of Johnson.
“I can still remember being at home down in South Florida watching him in college (at University of Miami),” Carter said. “Having him as a role model and a teammate is really a dream come true.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.