Very little eluding Gophers cornerback Michael Carter now

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 1, 2012 - 12:50 AM

The Gophers cornerback has a better handle on his position in the defense and and his off-field endeavors.

hide

Gophers cornerback Michael Carter, here trying to bring down Penn State’s Devon Smith in October 2010, only played seven games that season and only five times as a junior in 2011.

Photo: Marlin Levison, DML - Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Michael Carter zeroed in on a receiver Saturday and stopped him with a big hit, then kept driving forward until they fell to the ground together. Going forward -- that's not always the direction Carter's career has been headed.

"It's been a rough trip being here. I know there's been a lot of up and downs, but I just love wearing the 'M' on my helmet," Carter, a senior cornerback, said after the Gophers' two-hour workout in TCF Bank Stadium. "Coach [Jerry] Kill allowed me to be back on this team, and I'm just trying to be a new, better Mike Carter."

That's because the old Mike Carter was mostly promise, but little production, a career headed in reverse practically since the day he arrived from Florida in 2009.

He was one of the most heralded recruits ever to sign with the Gophers, a nationally known talent from Pompano Beach who could dominate a game from the secondary. But after playing 12 games and making a handful of big plays as a freshman, he got on the field only seven times as a sophomore and five times last year.

Injuries played a role in that, but attitude and effort were a bigger problem, one that extended to the classroom as well as the practice field. "One thing Coach Kill has always said, 'If you want to play on game day, you're going to do the right things during the week,' " defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys said. "He was late to classes, lots of things like that. There are consequences. The [fewer] distractions you have, the better you're going to play."

Kill confronted Carter last winter about his subpar grades and lack of commitment to the team.

"It got to the point Coach Kill told me some things I need to change, to man up, get focused," Carter said. He went home and considered walking away from the team. He called his cousin Tyrone Carter, an All-America safety for the Gophers in 1998 and 1999, and they talked for six hours about his future.

"I told him, 'I want to be a Gopher.' I thought about transferring, but that's one thing about me -- I don't quit," Carter said. "This year, I'm more engaged in school, more engaged in the film room. I'm working with tutors. I'm setting all the other stuff aside. People really don't see me on weekends anymore; I use it as study time instead of going out. I'm focused on what I need to do."

He likes the change as much as Kill and his coaches, too. "I'm loose. I feel fresh. I feel like the newcomer," Carter said. "I feel brand new."

But he's playing like a savvy veteran. Carter is making noteworthy plays in every spring practice, and Claeys calls him one of the most impressive players of the spring.

"This semester has been tremendous. From the classroom, to being [effective] on the football field, he's working his tail end off, and now he's put himself in position to get to play," Claeys said. "We need Mike, we really do. So to his credit, he's made the changes he's had to make. And it's a lot of fun to watch."

  • SPOTLIGHT MICHAEL CARTER

    Spring game: 11 a.m. April 21 • TCF Bank Stadium

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Baltimore - W. Chen 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Kansas City - D. Duffy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
Seattle - J. Paxton 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
LA Angels - C. Wilson 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 3rd Prd 11:32
NY Islanders 2
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Detroit 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado
Colorado 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close