Cris Carter Takes His Place in Canton

By Jason Priestas on August 4, 2013 at 5:39a

It took longer than Ohio State – and Minnesota Viking – fans would have liked, but former Buckeye Cris Carter now has a bust at the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

It was an emotional weekend for Carter as he did the impossible, bringing Bill Parcells to tears with a specially inscribed tie clip Friday, before a heartfelt introduction from his son, Duron, Saturday night.

Carter, who retired in 2002 trailing only the great Jerry Rice in career receptions (1,101) and touchdowns (130) by a receiver, began his induction speech with a hearty "O-H!" before going onto apologize to Ohio State fans for signing with a sports agent. "That is the only regret in my athletic career is that I couldn't play for the Buckeyes as a senior. Buckeye fans, Cris Carter says, I'm sorry."

Carter went on to thank his brothers, his wife and family, the Vikings, former high school coach – and former Ohio State coach – Bill Conley, among others.

On the great state of Ohio:

O-H!  O-H!  Welcome to the home of professional football, Canton, Ohio.  And I happen to be one of the few people who have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame who were born and raised in the State of Ohio.

Growing up in Middletown:

My mom moved us from Troy when I was 7 years old, and I moved to a place called Middletown, because there were supposed to be opportunities there.  Yes, I recognize Middletown, that's where I'm from.  242 miles from George Halas Drive to the housing project that I grew up in, People's Place.

Carter's apology to Ohio State fans:

Ohio State, first of all, to all the Buckeye fans, from the bottom of my heart, I sincerely apologize for me signing with a sports agent and losing my eligibility my senior year.  That is the only regret I have in my athletic career is that I couldn't play for the Buckeyes as a senior.  Buckeye fans, Cris Carter says, I'm sorry.  To all my Buckeye teammates, especially those who took care of me, Keith Byars, Pepper Johnson, Jim Lachey, Kurt Loudermilk, William White, Greg Rogan, Dwight Smith, guys that looked after me. I've always had good teams that I've played on.  All you Buckeyes, all my teammates, all you guys in attendance, I greatly appreciate it.

What Bill Conley meant to him:

The second person I met that was critical on my way to football heaven was my high school football coach, Bill Conley.  Bill Conley, where are you?  Stand up and be recognized.  This guy right here came into my life when I was 17 years old.  I was one of the best basketball players in the state of Ohio.  I had a brother in the NBA, and I was only playing football to stay in shape.  He told me, looked me straight in the eye and said, Son, you have a better chance to be Lynn Swann than you do Isiah Thomas.

And Coach Conley, I appreciate the football you taught me.  I appreciate you taught me how to play the game.  I appreciate how you taught me how to prepare for the game.  Coach Conley, I hate to say it, but I wake up every day coaching kids.  I idolize you, coach.  I try to coach my high school kids just like my high school coach.  Bill Conley, everybody.

Seeing his wife for the first time at Ohio State:

Third person I encountered, I saw her going across the campus of Ohio State.  I told my roommate, Yo, man, I'm going to marry that girl.  Been married to her for 23 years.


Comments Show All Comments

buckeye_heart's picture

Congrats to Cris Carter a class act.

warosu's picture

Was 11 years old when I first saw Mr Carter play at Ohio State been a fan ever since!!!! Congratulations!!! Buckeye nation accepts your apology O-h

Hovenaut's picture


Much deserved.

And I'm glad he's on NFL Countdown.....aside from Ditka, Mort and Tom Jackson, CC makes that show tolerable.

RedStorm45's picture

Bill Conley shoutout...former OSU assistant (recognized as a top recruiter nationally from '92-'03), now the head coach at DII Ohio Dominican.

IBleedSandG's picture

It looked like he was grabbing a rebound. Made that look way too easy!


gbdawg's picture

What a great speech from a great Buckeye. Well done Chris.

JozyMozy's picture

...I-O, big guy. Congratulations. 

rightfield's picture

I loved every moment of that speech. Impressed he addressed the end of his Buckeye career.

Its good to be the king

otrain2416's picture

Buckeye Born and Bred now HOF-er even after I'm dead!

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

Young_Turk's picture

Thank you for your heart-felt words.  No need to apologize, my friend, for signing with an agent.  Time (and how well you represent OSU since then), has healed all wounds.  We all hurt with the loss of your senior season, but there has been so many positives since, and your redemption does us all proud.  
I loved what you told your Momma, about the bumpy ride, but especially the smooth landing part.  If you didn't just earn the moniker HOF-er, I would suggest your new nickname should be "Smooth Landing".  But HOFer suits you better.  
Buckeye!  Born and Bred!  


Idaho Helga's picture

...I-O Cris!  Proud of you.  Tremendous speech.

Codeezy's picture

Cried my eyes out watching his speech. Appreciate the man and the representative of men he became through all the fame. At only 25 I sadly never got to see him play College Ball first hand, but he will be a Buckeye Great forever and I'm proud to be a fan of a University With Cris Carter as an alum.

MN Buckeye's picture

As a tOSU and Vikings fan, I enjoyed watching Cris play over the years.  Congratulations, Cris; you have made us all proud.

Jason Priestas's picture

Small pro tip because I see so many Ohio State fans misspell his name: It's actually Cris, no "H" in it.

TMac's picture

Congratulations Cris, - Finally!

ONE Not Done!

TatumRuled's picture

I notice he didn't mention Spielman. I still think there's bad blood between the two.

"Hell, Woody didn't recruit me; he recruited my mother!" -Jack Tatum                       

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

Amazing story. Cris's life could have been derailed at so many junctions, yet he persevered and now he's a Hall of Famer. I just wish Duron could have learned from his father. I really wanted him to succeed. 

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

BuckeyePoetLaureate's picture

I can attest that Duron really isn't a bad kid at all (at least from what I know).  He's a bright and relatively decent guy; I hope he somehow puts it together for the NFL.

Proud alumnus of the Ohio State Creative Writing MFA Program.  Creator of the writing craft site Great Writers Steal.

Poison nuts's picture

This is about Cris's accomplishments, not Duron's failings...It gets sort of frustrating every time Cris's name is brought up, at least one person says "Duron sucks". 

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

acBuckeye's picture

So happy for you, Cris. Great speech!!

Poison nuts's picture

Astonishing speech. Just saw it on another thread. Really tremendous stuff. I-O

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

buckskin's picture

It's about damn time.  Great shout outs to OSU and Ohio as the birthplace of football.  Made me proud to be a Buckeye.  Great to Urban in the crowd supporting him; recruits saw the camera pan to Urban, then back to Cris, and think: this guy could get me to the Hall.