Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Carter’s siblings a ‘safety’ net

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The Carter family definitely has the athletic gene.

Butch Carter played college basketball under Bob Knight at
Indiana before going on to play six years in the NBA.


Cris Carter was a standout wide receiver at Ohio State
before becoming a future Hall of Famer after 15 years in the NFL.

So when Shane Carter was born in 1987, right around the same
time Cris began his NFL career and Butch ended his NBA career, it was no
surprise he got involved in sports at a young age.

“With everybody in my family playing sports and my
father wanted us to play, [it] kind of gave me the gateway to get in, but once
I started playing I just had a love for it,” Carter said. “I loved to
go out there and just play anything. That’s all I really ever knew was playing

While relating to siblings 20-plus years older than you may
seem difficult, Carter sees a lot of positives in having older siblings.

“It was a good thing and a bad thing,” Carter said
about the age difference. “Obviously, there was a lot of distance there,
so we couldn’t relate about some things, but at the same time there were a lot
of things that they have been through that I haven’t. A lot of things I could
talk to them about — what they have been through in college or the next level.
It was a good thing to have someone like that.”

Growing up, Carter followed the path of both of his
brothers, playing both basketball and football through high school. Like his
brothers, he excelled at both sports, earning all-conference honors in
basketball and football. However, when it came time to choose a sport to focus
on in college, it was an easy decision for Carter.

“I had a ritual of waking up on Saturday morning
watching college football, and I just knew I wanted to be a part of that. When
the time came, I just pulled the trigger.”

After getting limited time his first two years, Carter
started all 13 games and made the most of his opportunities. Carter led the
team and the Big Ten in interceptions and was fifth on the team in tackles with

Despite making strides in his first year as a starter,
Carter knows that his ceiling is still high, and he has a lot of room for

“He led the (Big Ten) in interceptions, but there are a
lot of things that he can get better at, and he understands that,”
defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks said. “But again that has to be a
confidence booster to be able to know that you have that in your back pocket as
far as playing the ball and making interceptions.”

One of the biggest areas in which Cooks wanted Carter to
improve was his open-field tackling, and so far this spring Cooks can already
see Carter is a better player than he was when named honorable mention all-Big
Ten last season.

“He’s looked good,” Cooks said. “He’s taken
the experience that he’s gained from the 13 games he started last year and kind
of transitioned it over to the offseason and spring ball. He’s reading the ball
well. He’s better on his tackling. His footwork is better, so he’s much
improved from where he was last year.”

With Allen Langford and Aaron Henry out for the spring,
Carter has also taken on more of a leadership role.

“I want to be more vocal,” Carter said.
“Obviously I’ve kind of got a grasp about what the whole defense is doing.
I know I can take my chances and make plays. There’s not one area I want to
focus on. I want to focus on being a better football player, just well-rounded
in all areas.”

Besides learning from the coaches like the rest of the
players on the team, Carter has something most players don’t have — a brother
who already went through the ups and downs of Big Ten football and even the
NFL. Carter has used that to his advantage, going to his brother Cris for
advice and support whenever he needs to.

“[Cris is] open for me whenever,” Carter said.
“I try and ask him about things he’s been through, everything from
injuries to trying to battle back from hard times. He’s there for me
support-wise all the time.”

Cooks sees having Cris as a brother as being very helpful
for Carter’s development as well.

“[Carter’s] got somebody who can give him advice that
has already been through all the problems and issues and situations as far as
on and off the field,” Cooks said. “He’s got him right there at his
convenience. The biggest thing that Cris probably provides is advice and a
source of outlets.

“He just points him in the right direction, (maybe)
giving him some NFL tape and having him study guys or putting him in touch with
guys at that position that can really give him some fine details and points on
playing free safety.”

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