Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fresno State: Can Derek Carr Fill the Big Shoes of His Brother?

For young Derek Carr, trying to do what your brother did in the same uniform almost a decade ago is something that a lot of young quarterbacks would have a hard time living up to. Especially the kind of legacy David Carr left behind.

Derek is expected to be the starter for the Fresno State Bulldog football team when the season opens in Berkley, California against the Cal Golden Bears. What's ironic about that? His brother, David, made his first start in front of a raucous crowd at Camp Randall Stadium against the Wisconsin Badgers.

Both will make their very first collegiate starts against hostile crowds and against big time college football programs.

Talk about being thrown to the fire.

While Derek's older brother made a last impression on Fresno State fans during his time in a Bulldog uniform, the younger brother comes in with more hype than even his brother saw before he threw his first pass. This is a player that fans have been hearing about for the better part of two years.

Now that the wait is over, the hype becomes even bigger. The pressure, that much stronger.

He'll have to live up to expectations already thrown upon him by not only the fans but the media and coaching staff as well. They want someone and something to believe in after a long absence of not having a team that played above mediocre football.

The 2011 season will be a tell tale sign for not only their young quarterback but a maturing team as well. This is not a football program that is filled with a lot of veteran leadership so they have to lean on each other to make this what it should be.

Over the last few seasons, it's been tough for fans to continue to believe in something that didn't look like Bulldog football. The tenacity was gone, the athleticism almost non-existent.

They wanted a player that they could look at and see their future getting brighter. They've had guys like running back Dwayne Wright and Ryan Mathews, defensive end Chris Carter, quarterback Billy Volek and so many others that they knew could put up a big performance at the drop of a hat.

The 2010 season just didn't have that. Besides Carter doing what he did best, there really wasn't much the Bulldog faithful could look at and be excited.

This season could provide a whole new look to a program that needs a shot in the arm. Whether that shot comes from their young first year quarterback or it comes from some of the other players that could make a name for themselves.

Whatever it is, the leadership needs to make its way back to Fresno State football. The tone needs to be set from the moment spring practice begins, and there needs to be a clear leader that isn't afraid to speak up when it's needed.

Derek Carr could be the missing piece of puzzle that's been waiting to be put together for so many years. If he is who they say he is and shows the kind of talent everyone says he has, than 2011 could be the start of what Fresno State football used to be.

And could be again.

Follow Todd Kaufmann @T_Kaufmann and National Football Authority @NFAuthority on Twitter


  1. Good article. The team is loaded at WR with speed and size( 6' 5" Victor Dean) and without the typical big RB of seasons past.

  2. His big brother's first start was an extremely hostile crowd...but that was at the Horse Shoe in Ohio. It did not turn out to be a stiller game for Carr. But, as you stated, fans didn't really expect much from him at the time. And, I believe the "athleticism almost non-existent," is a little to far. If anything the big let down is the tenacity and Defense. They have a good schedule this year to really make noise if they work for it.