Duke's Michael Carter II: Returning to Practice Was "a Breath of Fresh Air"


Duke safety Michael Carter II heads into his senior year, after leading the team in pass breakups last season. He was glad to get his final season underway with the first day of practice on Friday.

“It felt really good,” he said. “It felt like a breath of fresh air almost, just being together again on the field. I definitely missed that aspect of football a lot. I’ve been looking forward to this day a long time. I’m glad that we finally get to be out here, of course with guidelines, practicing with social distancing. We still had fun practicing. I’m glad to be back.”

Carter is a key component of a secondary that might be one of the strengths of the defense.

“We’re a very strong group,” he said. “We have a lot of depth. The young guys provide that, as well as a lot of veteran guys that have been on team two, three, even four years. I think our back end is very strong. We have good depth—of course, that’s almost a necessity, with what we’re doing right now. With what we can do on the back end, we’re going to have a very special group and make a lot of big plays overall and contribute to a lot of the success on the defense.”

The team came back in shape, which allowed them to pick up practice without much time devoted to catching up.

“I think we did a good job over the break of holding each other accountable, making sure we were lifting, doing our best with what we had at home,” he said. “I think our group and a lot of the people on the team came back in good condition. That really helped us not be set back going into fall camp. We’re moreso ahead than maybe other people thought we were.”

Now the team needs to stay healthy and avoid some of the virus outbreaks that have plagued other programs.

“Mitigation is definitely one of the big things,” he said. “We’re trying to create our own bubble, sort of similar to the NBA, just trying to make sure we stay within the team, while also masking up in different settings.”