Fresno State quarterback Carr looks to finish brother’s legacy with championship

first_imgAs a four-star recruit and the No. 16 quarterback in the nation, Derek Carr had big-time schools lined up for his services in high school.His choice, though, was never in doubt.“My heart was set that whole time about where I wanted to go; it didn’t matter who called,” Carr said. “So I was just kind of waiting for (former Fresno State head coach Pat) Hill to call.”Notre Dame, Louisiana State, Arizona, Tennessee, Alabama, California, Utah and Southern California all recruited the quarterback, and Carr could have blazed his own trail. But it was never even a question — he wanted to finish what his brother started.“When guys try to go their own path, it makes me laugh because it worked for the first guy; why wouldn’t it work for the second guy?” Carr said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDuring the 2001 season, David Carr burst onto the scene. The Bulldogs won three straight games over Bowl Championship Series conference teams to start the season. The hot start vaulted Carr into the Heisman Trophy conversation and FSU into BCS bowl consideration.Fresno State rose as high as No. 8 after a 4-0 start before dropping back-to-back games to a pair of conference opponents. Carr’s Heisman hopes vanished, the Bulldogs’ BCS dreams were crushed and, worst of all, FSU blew its shot at winning the Western Athletic Conference.Fresno State lost in the Silicon Valley Bowl to Michigan State. Carr finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting. And the Bulldogs finished second in the conference to Boise State.More than a decade later, it’s Derek Carr’s turn to achieve the goals his brother ultimately fell short of. He wants to guide FSU to a BCS bowl. He wants to win a Heisman. And he wants to win a conference championship.“The main reason I came here is to finish what he started, and that’s win a championship,” Carr said. “I thought that he had a great senior season; I thought he deserved the Heisman, and that’s one of my goals. I want to win that, and it’s not for me. It’s for him. And if I’m fortunate enough one day to do that, I’ll say that on that day.”Finishing his brother’s mission is the main force that drives Carr. In his first season as Fresno State’s starting quarterback in 2011, Carr threw for more than 3,500 yards with 26 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. But the Bulldogs went just 4-9 and missed a bowl game for only the second time since the eldest Carr graduated.This season, FSU is in good position to reach a bowl game with a 4-3 record, and Carr has once again been spectacular; the redshirt junior has already thrown for more than 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns.“Derek’s a guy that’s got a tremendous amount of pride, it shows up in his work ethic all year long,” Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter said. “I think David’s done a great job in blazing a trail for his younger brother and setting a standard for him. And as a younger brother you look to that example and the competitor in him says, ‘That’s a great example; I want to go beat it.’”To most football fans, the name David Carr is now synonymous with one word: bust. But in Fresno, Calif., Carr is a legend.The quarterback was the first overall selection in the 2002 NFL Draft by the expansion Houston Texans. In five seasons as the Texans’ starter, Carr compiled just a 22-53 record.But to Bulldogs fans, none of that matters. That 2001 season is perhaps the greatest in school history, and Carr put FSU on the map, giving them a face of the program and the school’s only No. 1 draft choice.Wearing the name of the best player in program history on the back of his jersey could have been extra pressure for Derek Carr to succeed. But since the moment he stepped on Fresno State’s campus, he has been welcomed.“He was so good as a person here that that made things easier on me,” Carr said. “No one really said anything. Of course, the older guys will mess with you, but coming out of high school I was highly recruited and all that, so guys didn’t really bring it up too much.”But wearing that name on the back of his jersey is also an honor. From the day his brother stepped foot on the FSU campus, David knew he wanted to one day follow his brother, whom he idolized.“You know Derek could’ve went anywhere he wanted,” Derek’s other brother Darren Carr, who was a defensive lineman at Houston, said in an email to The Daily Orange. “He was the MVP at the LSU camp. Had letters from major colleges, visits from Alabama you name it. His heart was with the Bulldogs. He was so excited when Pat Hill called, that’s the only place he wanted to go.”Of course, Carr had the advantage of learning the game from an NFL quarterback (being 12 years younger than his brother, Derek said David taught him all the mental aspects of the game).All of the talent in the family made for some interesting games of pickup football.When Houston drafted David, the rest of the Carr family followed him from California to Texas. During the offseasons in Houston, David and Derek would spend every weekend playing pickup games.“It started getting unfair because I’d have all my teammates out there and then we’d pick teams and we’d go at it,” Derek Carr said. “But he started flying people out that he played with in college just for the weekend. It got really competitive.“Now we don’t play quarterback, we just play receiver.”Carr will have one more season after this one to achieve the goals his brother couldn’t and continue to put his name alongside his in the Bulldogs’ record books.But no matter what, Carr doesn’t feel he could ever surpass his brother in the program’s lore.“It’s an honor now that they’re even starting to compare,” Carr said. “He is the greatest and no matter what my stats are, no matter whatever they finish, ahead of him or behind him, whatever they are, he’s the man. He set the bar. He put Fresno State on the map.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 18, 2012 at 2:02 am Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2last_img

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