"Psst... Wanna hear something cool? "
For the 3rd time in as many weeks, ESPN Insider's College Football Rumors feed has dumped ($) some wisdom from the Bucknutsphere our way. No disparaging Mr. B, the tremendously talented pros over there, or any of the juicy nuggets we all benefit from, but their latest insight that Cris Carter is sniffing around his son in a potential attempt to pull him out of Ohio State and enroll him somewhere closer to home doesn't quite pass the gut test. I think we all understand that Duron has had his fair share of growing pains acclimating both the college experience, and the unique, full-time job of being a college athlete at a major program. The matter of fact that #9 is still out of commission for Spring Ball after missing the Rose Bowl indicates that having two strikes in the count is a completely probable scenario, but lest we forget the future NFL Hall of Famer's own growing page around the same point of time in his life.
I'm not saying immaturity/maturation arcs are in anyway pre-programmed in any capacity, nor is history entitled to repeat itself, but it's no secret Carter's Ohio State career ended rather unceremoniously after it was revealed that Carter had taken compensation from an agent and signed a representation agreement. Carter himself will readily admit that even his early career struggles with Buddy Ryan and the Philadelphia Eagles were the result of immaturity. While the unexpected change of scenery provoked both personal growth and the evolution of Carter into one of the greatest receivers of our lifetimes, assuming that Duron is completely incapable of taking advantage of the tremendous support system he has in place and turning things around in his own right seems a futile exercise in presumptuous logic. Despite the young man's somewhat controversial twitter, Carter's standardized test scores, high school marks, and general reputation don't exactly put him in the bad-stereotype/Katzenmoyer illiteracy ranks. Perhaps it's a rare naive optimistic streak on my part, but I'm unwilling to cast a player's entire academic and athletic future into doubt over several off the field issues, particularly mostly academic ones. Whether a father was in town ballin' out to knock some sense into his son or simply see him, I'm holding out hope that a sound Spring Quarter '10 equates to Carter stepping right back into the 3rd receiver role virtually everyone expects him to almost on the grounds of just showing up in uniform come the time summer camp breaks. Duron Carter was supposed to come to Columbus to follow in his old man's foot steps; here's hoping his exit isn't similar in any capacity.
Speak of WR 3...
FO11W Ken Gordon drops wisdom on just why Taurian Washington has never quite panned out as many of us had hoped. While Duron's extended absence has mean more reps for the likes of Washington and Chris Fields, few would be surprised if Washington again finds his role relegated to special teams and the occasional 5 wide receiver set. Gordon paints the picture of when the train began to derail for T-Wash:
After nearly two years of dwindling playing time, Washington got a chance to play a lot in the 2009 opener against Navy when receiver Ray Small sat out because of illness. Washington responded with two drops, and he knew what was in store for him. "Once I had the one little drop - couple drops - I kind of got down on myself," he said. "I thought, '(As) soon as I make this drop, this mistake, it's probably going to cost me.'"
Would surely seem as though the real shortcoming hasn't the one between the point where Washington's two thumbs meet, but rather the space between both ears. Sports anxieties have reduced bit contributors and all-stars alike to dramatically lesser roles, but a mentally right, contributing Washington means yet another weapon for TP to check down to. Per our very own Alex, Fields has looked dynamic in practices to the point where it might be time to start seriously discussing his candidacy to line up behind Sanezenbacher and Posey. His lack of much game action to this point remains a red flag at face value, but the greater the surplus of legit targets flying around, say, mid-to-late November when the game time temperature starts to dip sub-50 degrees, the better.