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rhbe Michigan Daily
Thursday, October 3, 1985
A.C. ELECTRIFIES VIKING FANS WITH COLLEGE FLASH
Carter locates niche
By PHIL JOHNSON
Occasionally, an athlete bursts
upon the sports scene whose talents
and accomplishments are so extraor-
dinary that memories of him live on in
the minds of fans long after he has
moved on or retired.
Anthony Carter was - and is -
such a player..
FOR FOUR years at Michigan, Car-
ter was a constant threat to decide the
outcome of any game and the source
of a large portion of Wolverine fans'
excitement. He was an offensive ex-
plosion waiting to happen.
But in today's what-have-you-done-
for-me-lately world of professional
Sports, statistics and reputations
built up in college mean nothing once
a player steps onto the field. If he fails
to continue to contribute to his team's
effort, he will quickly be cast aside in
favor of someone who does.
Carter shows no signs of letting that
AFTER AN unusually slow start in
this, his first season with the Min-
nesota Vikings (one catch for 15 yards
against San Francisco and two for 11
against Tampa Bay), Carter broke
loose to the tune of four receptions for
102 yards and two touchdowns against
Chicago and three for 57 with one
touchdown at Buffalo Sunday.
His earlier problems were a matter
of perfecting his timing with quarter-
back Tommy Kramer and, "getting
that offense down," Carter explained.
Alluding to his move from the USFL
Oakland Invaders to the NFL Vikings
over the summer, Carter said that he
was not unhappy in Oakland, but that,
"there were things happening in the
front office that shouldn't be hap-
pening in the front office of a pro fran-
Some of the new players moving
from the USFL to the NFL may find it
tough to play two consecutive seasons
without time off but not Carter. "I
thought for a couple days at training
camp that I should have taken the
year off, but now I feel I'm at the peak
of my game," he commented.
NO SINGLE defensive back
remains in Carter's mind as the most
difficult to beat, but his season has
been by no means, without its
challenges. "Going up against the
49ers' defensive backfield was a big
challenge and I felt good just to catch
one pass against them," he said of the
backfield that includes former
Wolverine Dwight Hicks, Ronnie Lott,
Eric Wright, and Carlton Williamson.
Pleasing as personal accomplish-
ments may be, Carter does not place
them above those of the team. "I
haven't set any personal goals since I
was at Michigan. When you're a
professional, you can't worry about
anything but doing your job right."
This same attitude is also evident in
Carter's play on the field. "A lot of
receivers don't like to block, but you
have to do it. You have to enjoy hit-
ting; it's just another part of the
game," he said, referring to one of the
things that separates the pass-catchers
from the true football players.
AFTER SO many years of prac-
ticing patterns, moves, and the
mechanics of catching the ball, one
might expect that practice sessions,
aside from developing and main-
taining timing with the quarterback,
would be relatively useless to a pro
receiver like Carter.
"Getting the right depth on the
routes is very important," he said,
mentioning the part of his game that
he thinks needs practice the most. "If
they want you to go 20 yards and cut,
you have to go 20 yards, not 17."
A person who Carter admires is
Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler,
whom he compares to Viking head;
coach Bud Grant. Both are among the
most successful coaches in their
respective leagues. "All my coaches
(Schembechler, the Michigan Pan-,
thers' Jim Stanley, and Grant) get,
their players physically and mentally
ready for a game. College ball really
did help to prepare me for the pros."
And what fun that preparation was.
for Michigan fans to watch.
CARTER announced his arrival in
Ann Arbor with a 78-yard punt return
against Northwestern in his first
game as a freshman and finished that
season with 17 catches for 462 yards,
seven touchdowns, and 27 yards per
catch. His subsequent UPI Honorable
Mention All-Big Ten status and
numerous freshman All-America
awards were indicative of things to
come in his next three years.
At the end of his career Carter held
(and still holds) career marks for
most catches (161), most yards
(3076), most touchdown receptions
(37), most TDs (40), most points
(244), and numerous return yardage
and yards per possession records. He
also has several season records.
The accumulation of yardage and,
records in a program so devoted to
running the football makes many
wonder what Carter could have ac-
complished at a school that passed
more, Carter doesn't. "I don't have
any regrets about (going to)
Michigan. I met a lot of great people
there and the coaching staff was
CARTER DID, despite what a peek
at the record book would indicate,
leave something undone at Michigan:
"Winning a national title," he said.
"We never won one with (Curtis)
Greer, (Andy) Cannavino, and some
other great players."
Carter recalls as his best-
remembered moment in a Michigan
uniform the same event he is best
remembered for by Wolverine fans.
deep in its own territory and slowly
moved the ball to the Hoosier 45 with
just six seconds left.
QUARTERBACK John Wangler
took the snap and faded back into the
pocket while Carter ran a 15 to 20-yard
square-in. Wangler fired to a crossing
Carter at the 25. Carter eluded two In-
diana defenders, turned upfield, and
scooted into the endzone just out of the
reach of IU safety Tim Wilbur. The
game was won and the legend had
Carter still retains contact with
many of his former teammates and
his old team even though he left
Michigan when the Michigan Pan-
thers pulled up stakes and merged
with the Oakland Invaders before the
USFL's 1985 season. "I keep up with
the football team as much as I can.
This (Paul) Jokisch could break some
of those records of mine," he said af-
ter having watched the Wolverines
down Notre Dame and Southern
That move away from Michigan
and its fans for the first time in six
years was more than just a move
from one place to another, but also a
move away from instant recognition
and adoration. ."It was a shock (not
hearing "A.C., A.C." all the time), but
the fans in Oakland picked it up later
in the season and that brought back
memories of Michigan."
Michigan fans, though, need no
prodding to bring back memories of
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"It would have to be my freshman
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Indiana had just tied the important
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k I l NOON FORUM
Friday, October 4
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