UNC senior running back Michael Carter has experienced a complete circle while in attendance at North Carolina. Looking back over his tenure, he's experienced everything from losing seasons to winning a bowl game, and two different coaches who have given him an incredible role in leading the Tar Heels to victory.
The Florida native has rushed for a career-high of 1,003 yards, 466 return yards, and 154 receiving yards his junior year. During 2019, Carter was named to the 2019 Third-Team All-ACC (RB), 2019 Honorable Mention All-ACC (All-Purpose), 2019 Doak Walker Award Watch List, and is on pace to set a school record with a 6.03 yards per rush average for a career. Currently, Carter and junior Javonte Williams combine for the most yards from scrimmage (268.9) by a running back duo since USC's 2005 combo of Reggie Bush and LenDale White (287.6). Also, the pair are the only players nationally with 800+ rushing yards and 200+ receiving yards.
Talk about a hell of a running back system.
As his senior year comes to a close, Carter is collecting accolades along the way. He's featured on multiple award watch lists such as Doak Walker, the Paul Hornung, and the Senior Bowl. But it's not the awards that are apart of his highlight film when it comes to remembering his time at UNC; it's his growth and time spent with his teammates that play in the forefront of his memories.
"As a player just since I've gotten here, I've seen myself grow a lot just in terms of maturity and fine-tuning things that I was already good at. In high school, there are just certain things that you have to do." Carter stated, "Because I was just like, I was talented, where other people now you know, they're talented too, so is about technique. I think I've gotten much better than that perspective."
But he didn't do it alone. Carter recognizes the talent on this team; this is a one of a kind chance to truly help turn the football culture at UNC into a memorable and consistent winning team.
"I think that the ability to compete at this level with these guys is the biggest takeaway for me. I never look at a picture from a 2001 Miami hurricane team and think, 'it was just college kids'; You recognize every single one of them. I think that's the type of talent we have here. I know. So I think that's cool. That's like the biggest thing for me; I can take away that we have that type of talent in our locker room that you haven't even seen yet."
North Carolina is heading into the season's most anticipated game against No. 2 ranked Notre Dame on Friday afternoon. Notre Dame leads the series 18-2. Both Carolina victories occurred in Chapel Hill.
Can UNC complete the upset in Chapel Hill? As Carter states, the talent is present; now it's time to execute.
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