Big Ten: Cris Carter


Cris Carter and Chris Spielman talk about Carter losing his senior year at Ohio State after taking money from an agent.

Big Ten lunch links

June, 23, 2010
What's going on?

Ohio State still needs a No. 3 wide receiver to emerge this fall alongside DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher.

This much is known: it won't be Duron Carter.

Carter's academic troubles have forced him to withdraw from Ohio State and head to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas, where he'll play this fall. The son of Buckeyes legend and ESPN analyst Cris Carter had been ruled academically ineligible for the Rose Bowl against Oregon and sat out all of spring practice because of academic reasons.

Duron Carter appeared in all 12 regular-season games for Ohio State as a true freshman in 2009 and recorded 13 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown. The departures of Ray Small and Carter leave Ohio State with only two wide receivers who recorded more than 10 receptions last year (running backs Brandon Saine and Dan Herron combined for 30 receptions).

A source within the Ohio State program seemed optimistic last month that Carter would get his grades straightened out, but the turnaround will need to happen at Coffeyville. Carter certainly could have helped the Buckeyes this year as a receiver and as a potential return man.

Taurian Washington and promising redshirt freshman Chris Fields are the top two candidates for the No. 3 wideout spot.
Ohio State made it to the second round of's NFL pipeline challenge, but the Buckeyes couldn't get past Deion Sanders and the Florida State Seminoles.

I argued (valiantly, I might add) for the Buckeyes to advance, citing their overwhelming number of draft picks (177) and first-round selections (37) between 1979-2009. I pointed to Ohio State's fine collection of offensive linemen, led by Orlando Pace, as well as standout skill players like wideout Cris Carter. I also noted that Ohio State boasts several dynamic young players in the NFL, while Florida State's NFL pipeline seems to be drying up since the 1990s.

Colleague Ivan Maisel, arguing for Florida State, writes that the Seminoles boast a superior collection of defensive linemen compared to Ohio State
"They are the toughest players to find in football. The NFL drafted 25 defensive ends and tackles from the Seminoles in the past 20 years."

ESPN Scout's Inc.'s Matt Williamson ruled for Maisel and Florida State, writing that while neither group of players is overly impressive, the Seminoles get the edge because of Sanders, Derrick Brooks and Walter Jones.

So the Big Ten is out of the pipeline bracket. Don't shed too many tears. Ohio State and other Big Ten squads will continue to send plenty of players to the NFL year after year.
In a span of less than 30 hours Monday-Tuesday, Ohio State picked up commitments from five recruits for the 2011 class. The Buckeyes on Tuesday also announced a two-year contract extension for head coach Jim Tressel that takes him through the 2014 season.

Coincidence? I think not.

Good news often comes in waves, and Ohio State, which took some heat on National Signing Day after losing two coveted offensive line prospects, just had one.

Let's take a quick look at the five newest Ohio State commits, all in-state prospects, who bring the 2011 class to seven members.

Tip of the cap to ESPN Recruiting for much of the info:
  • Antonio Underwood, OL, 6-3, 300: Committed on Monday during unofficial visit to campus. He had received offers from several Mid-American Conference programs, including Toledo and Miami (Ohio). Michigan and Illinois also had expressed interest. Underwood told The Cleveland Plain Dealer he expects to play center or guard at Ohio State.
  • Chris Carter Jr., OL, 6-4, 340: Committed on Monday during an unofficial visit to Ohio State. Also had offers from NC State and Miami (Ohio) and had received interest from most Big Ten schools. "It's the best choice for me," he said. "The academic support is great and I like the way they treat the players. They help you get adjusted to college life and the coaches really care about you as a person." Carter isn't related to former Buckeyes star Cris Carter.
  • Brian Bobek, C, 6-2, 280: Bobek committed Tuesday to the Buckeyes. He also had offers from Michigan State and Purdue, and his father, Jeff, played at Iowa. Like Underwood and Carter, Bobek was recruited by Ohio State offensive coordinator/line coach Jim Bollman.
  • DerJuan Gambrell, CB, 6-2, 180: Gambrell had an offer from Toledo and committed on Tuesday. He received an offer from Ohio State about a month ago and told the Toledo Blade that he would accept it after talking things over with his family. He runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash.
  • Chase Farris, DE, 6-5, 265: Farris committed Tuesday, choosing Ohio State over offers from Notre Dame, Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois, Boston College and others. He recorded 18 tackles for loss and nine sacks as a junior at Elyria Catholic High School.

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

Ohio State junior running back Brandon Saine is making the most of his first starting opportunity this season.

Saine, who many Buckeyes fans wanted as the starter all along, already has seven carries for 70 rush yards as Ohio State has jumped out to a 10-0 lead against Indiana. He got the start in place of the injured Dan Herron (ankle). Quarterback Terrelle Pryor also has some nice runs and found freshman Duron Carter in the end zone for Carter's first career touchdown pass. If you had a Cris Carter flashback watching Duron, Cris' son, you're not alone.

Indiana needs to make a big play here very soon or it could be a long night.

Posted by's Adam Ritenberg

Wisconsin senior safeties Shane Carter and Aubrey Pleasant have been indefinitely suspended from the team, head coach Bret Bielema announced Saturday morning.

No explanation for the suspensions was given in a short news release announcing the suspensions, but Wisconsin officials expect to release more information later today. Carter and Pleasant are listed as backups to Chris Maragos and Jay Valai.

Carter, who led the Big Ten with seven interceptions in 2007, was suspended for bowl practices and the Champs Sports Bowl in December for violating team rules. The younger brother of former Ohio State and NFL star Cris Carter has started 20 games for the Badgers, while Pleasant has made 14 starts and recorded 80 career tackles.

Bielema is expected to address reporters at approximately 12:30 p.m. ET.

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

Keep an eye on these three Buckeyes newcomers entering the season.

OFFENSE -- Duron Carter, WR, Fr.

Ohio State loses its top two wide receivers, and though several dynamic players are waiting to step in, Carter should get a chance to contribute right away. The son of former Buckeyes star wideout Cris Carter was ranked as the nation's 18th best wideout by ESPN's Scouts Inc. and will give Terrelle Pryor a big target at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds. He might lack top-end speed but makes up for it with other skills.

DEFENSE -- Orhian Johnson, S, Fr.

The starting safeties are set with Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell, but Johnson made an impression this spring and should be a factor in Ohio State's nickel and dime packages. The former high school quarterback redshirted last year but logged plenty of time in spring ball as Russell missed time with an injury. He'll be an excellent insurance policy and a top candidate to start in 2010.

SPECIAL TEAMS -- Dorian Bell, LB, Fr.

Much like Etienne Sabino last year, Bell will have a hard time cracking the lineup as a true freshman, but should contribute a lot on special teams. His tackling ability won't go to waste this fall, and he could be a factor on coverage teams. Ranked as the nation's No. 4 linebacker by ESPN's Scouts Inc., Bell has excellent range and closing speed. Ohio State's punt and kickoff return units are set entering the fall, so freshmen will need to contribute in other areas of special teams.

Ohio State's Mount Rushmore

February, 18, 2009

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

Much like Penn State, Ohio State's storied history makes it tough to identify only four faces of the program. The Buckeyes have produced eight three-time All-Americans, most recently linebacker James Laurinaitis. They boast six Heisman Trophy winners (seven trophies) and four Maxwell Award winners. 

There are a few slam-dunk selections, but some tough calls as well. Here's my list for Ohio State's Rushmore. 

  • Woody Hayes -- The coaching icon will always be the face of Ohio State football. He won five national championships and 13 Big Ten titles in 28 years on the sidelines at Ohio State. The fiery Hayes went 205-61-10 as Buckeyes coach and led the team to four Rose Bowls.
  • Archie Griffin -- He remains college football's only two-time Heisman Trophy winner and one of the game's all-time greats. The College Football Hall of Famer had 5,589 career rushing yards and 26 touchdowns at Ohio State. In his four years the Buckeyes went 40-5-1.
  • Chris Spielman -- There's certainly some debate about Ohio State's greatest defensive player, but Spielman certainly is at or near the top of the list. Plus, there are few figures more revered in the state of Ohio than Spielman, a two-time All-America selection who won the Lombardi Award in 1987. Spielman embodies Ohio State football and holds the school record for solo tackles (283).
  • Chic Harley -- Yes, Ohio State football did exist before Hayes arrived, and Harley symbolized the program's dominance during the 1910s. A halfback and a safety, Harley led Ohio State to its first Big Ten championship in 1916 and another title in 1917. Harley earned All-America honors in all three seasons he played and helped Ohio State to a 21-1-1 record, with his lone loss coming in his final game.
There were many others considered for the list, including Jack Tatum, Howard Cassady, Les Horvath, Eddie George, Vic Janowicz, Bobby Hoying, Jim Tressel, David Boston, Jim Parker, Cris Carter and Orlando Pace.

Recruiting snapshot: Ohio State

February, 6, 2009

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

After landing the Big Ten's top recruiting class, Ohio State is up next on the snapshot rundown.

Number of recruits: 25

Key needs: Running back, quarterback, linebacker, defensive back

Highest-rated player (Scouts Inc.): Jaamal Berry (No. 3 nationally among running backs)

The quote: "Florida plays great football. You've got excellent population. When I started recruiting 30-some years ago, Florida had 11 million people and we probably had 15 million [in Ohio]. Now the tide has turned. Florida [high school] football has just continued to grow and grow. Those guys that we got out of Florida are highly thought of." -- Head coach Jim Tressel, on Ohio State's three skill recruits (Berry, running back Carlos Hyde and wide receiver Duron Carter) from Florida.

Quick take: A year after winning the Terrelle Pryor sweepstakes, Ohio State inked a first-rate recruiting class that includes seven players in the ESPNU 150. Running backs Berry and Hyde will compete right away for the starting job vacated by Chris "Beanie" Wells, and defensive standouts like linebacker Dorian Bell and cornerbacks C.J. Barnett and Corey Brown add depth after the losses of multiyear starters like James Laurinaitis, Marcus Freeman and Malcolm Jenkins. For the second straight year Ohio State added several top offensive linemen, and Cris Carter's son Duron gives Pryor another playmaker at receiver. The class fell in the rankings after Justin Green switched to Illinois and Tajh Boyd and Marlon Brown went elsewhere, but Ohio State filled needs on both sides of the ball. Arguably the most critical recruit was unheralded quarterback Kenny Guiton, an eleventh-hour commit who gives Ohio State a third scholarship quarterback.

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

Ohio State has finalized its 25-member recruiting class, which undoubtedly will rank as the best in the Big Ten and among the top five nationally.

As always, head coach Jim Tressel and his assistants did extremely well locally, luring 14 prospects from the state of Ohio. The Buckeyes also plucked three prospects from both Pennsylvania and Florida, and two from that state up north.

Ohio State's class is heavy on running backs (4), a sign that the competition to replace Chris "Beanie" Wells will be wide open. The Buckeyes also landed four linebackers, four defensive backs, four offensive linemen and three wide receivers.

There was only one Brown on the list, defensive back/wide receiver Corey Brown from Monroeville, Pa. Ohio State hoped to add wide receiver Marlon Brown, the nation's third best wide receiver according to ESPN's Scouts Inc., but the Memphis native ended up choosing Georgia.

The class is led by running backs Jaamal Berry and Carlos Hyde, linebacker Dorian Bell, wide receiver Duron Carter and cornerback C.J. Barnett. Ohio State appears to have found several defenders who can make an early impact, which is key after the losses of multiyear starters like James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins. The Buckeyes inked Cris Carter's son and the brothers of two current players, linebacker Zach Boren and running back/linebacker Adam Homan.