NCAA FB

CFN: 100 Best - No. 56 Anthony Carter

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Some were amazing players, some revolutionized their positions, some were legends, and some we just think were truly great. Yes, there was a bias towards players who played in the bigger conferences and against the biggest teams, but we also give a nod to the best who weren't in the spotlight as well. You can consider this the list of the college football careers as we give high marks to the legends.

How do you possibly pick an offensive lineman over a quarterback? It's tough, but our friends at the CollegeFootballNews.com we tried to make the call in regards to how good of a player they were without necessarily giving more credit to one position over another. Think of it this way, if you could take one running back, who would you take? You couldn't go wrong with Walker, Dorsett, Williams, Simpson, Dayne or about 20 other backs. Now if you had to pick one center, who would you go with? There are very few who stand out.

No. 56: Anthony Carter, WR - Michigan 1979-1982

If Anthony Carter wouldn't have destroyed most NCAA receiving records had he played for a big-time passing school, he would've at least come VERY close. Considering he played for the stodgy Wolverines, his touchdown numbers (37) and all-purpose yards per play (17.4) made him one of college football's most explosive players. We like to use the term "home-run hitter" when describing receivers and no one fit that description more than Carter nearly averaging a touchdown every four catches. The great Michigan running game helped isolate Carter and let him work, but AC was able to blow through double and triple coverage as well. Over a three year span, few college football players dominated their position like Carter. It almost didn't happen. Homesick for his native Florida, Carter left for home a few days after arriving on the Michigan campus. But Carter's mother intervened and when he arrived in Florida, she told him to go right back on the plane and play for the Wolverines. Head coach Bo Schembechler was certainly glad her did as Carter led the Wolverines to two Roe Bowls. Under Schembechler, Michigan still adhered to the power ground game when Carter was at Michigan, but when they did decide to throw, there wasn't a more dangerous threat than Carter. Even though he averaged less than four catches a game, he still scored a whopping 37 touchdowns in a career that saw him become a three-time All-American. None were more exciting or clutch than in 1979 against Indiana when a freshman officially kicked off a legendary career. The Indiana game: Tied 21-21, Michigan, on the IU 45, won their homecoming game when Carter, a freshman, caught a pass on the 20, was still standing when hit by two defenders, and broke free dodging one more Hoosier at the 2 before getting into the end zone with no time left on the clock. In that freshman season, Carter caught 17 passes for 462 yards and 7 touchdowns averaging 27.2 yards per catch. He didn't look dominating: At only 5-11 and 160 pounds, Carter certainly didn't look like tough football player, but he had peerless quickness, speed and playmaking ability. The numbers: Remember, this was a running football team. Carter caught 161 passes averaging 19.1 yards per grab. In 1980, he caught 43 passes for 844 yards and 8 TDs. As a junior, he caught 50 for 952 and 8 touchdowns. In 1982, the senior made 51 catches for 818 yards and set Michigan record with 14 touchdown grabs. He was a fearsome runner as well averaging 6.1 yards per carry on his 21 career rushes. As a kick returner, he averaged 25.8 yards per kickoff return. On punts, he returned 80 for 896 yards and two touchdowns. The NFL career: After a stint in the USFL's Michigan Panthers, he went to the NFL where he was traded from Miami to Minnesota. He went on to a solid career catching 486 passes for 55 touchdowns. Most memorable was his 1987 performance in the playoffs against the heavily favored San Francisco 49ers. Everyone was expecting to see Jerry Rice light it up, but Carter turned in a performance for the ages catching 221 yards worth of passes an knocking out the Niners. Honors: All-American - 1980-1982, Heisman Trophy - 4th in 1982, 7th in 1981, 10th in 1980 All-Big Ten - 1980-1982, Big Ten MVP - 1982, Michigan MVP - 1980, 1982.

  • Tagged: Michigan, Indiana, Rice

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