Michael Carter is Centurians #15

HSB Note: “Then a sophomore quarterback, Carter played nearly the entire 1991 season with a painful rib injury, and whether he’d play in Hawaii’s finale against Notre Dame was in doubt. Carter did indeed start against the Fighting Irish, and with the Rainbow Warriors trailing early in the fourth quarter, he rolled to his left and found open field ahead. Only a safety camped just outside the end zone separated him from six. Carter opted for the direct route, and the crunching collision left him doubled over and forced him out of the game. But not before he took the ball — and the defender — over the goal line.”

About the hit he took in the Notre Dame game, Carter said:
“It felt like a big dagger. That was one of the hardest hits I’ve ever taken. That was a stalemate. He was going full speed from about 10 yards back and I was 20 yards away and we just met at the goal line.” (HSB)

About how the Notre Dame game to end their 1991 season set up their WAC championship run for the 1992 season, Carter said:
“That whole game gave a lot of the young players the inspiration and the belief that we could play with national-level teams. I truly do believe that it did carry over into the next year. It brought all the guys that were coming back a lot closer and willing to work for a common goal.” (HSB)

About all the punishment that Carter took, WR Darrick Branch said:
“He’d get smacked just about every play. He had a lot of bumps and bruises and time and time again we’d see Michael Carter get up and go back to the huddle and lead the team. That’s how he’d always been. Even before he came to UH that’s what we heard about him: He’s a tough guy and he’s not afraid to play ball the way it’s supposed to be played.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Carter finished his career in 1993 and still owns the UH record for rushing touchdowns with 39 and is the second-leading rusher in school history with 2,528 yards, trailing only Gary Allen.”

About how he played QB with a LB’s mentality, Carter said:
“I was a quarterback and a linebacker from my Pop Warner days all the way up until high school. I kind of played with a linebacker’s mentality. … And a lot of my time was spent practicing with the running backs, so I actually learned how to deliver blows instead of taking them.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Carter signed with UH out of Long Beach Poly and backed up Garrett Gabriel his first year. He took over as a sophomore in ’91 and rushed for 214 yards in his first start, a season-opening win at Wyoming. He first suffered the rib injury in that game, yet he set a single-season school record with 221 rushing attempts. The last of those carries, his touchdown against Notre Dame, summed up Carter’s competitive streak.”

About Carter’s TD vs. Notre Dame, then-UH head coach Bob Wagner said:
“That kind of epitomized the team effort in that game and it epitomized the kind of person he was. He could have slid or something like that, but that wasn’t his nature. He was going to try to get everything he could.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Still, Carter’s job was far from secure going into 1992. Ivin Jasper won a tight competition for the starting assignment in the season opener at Oregon, while Carter began the season as a slotback. Both Jasper and Carter suffered ankle injuries the next week and Rodney Glover piloted UH to a win at Air Force. A combined effort led to a rousing win over BYU and Carter’s ankle allowed him to reclaim the starting spot the following week at Utah.”

About how he got the starting QB spot back in 1992 because his ankle got better quicker than Ivin Jasper’s ankle, Carter said:
“I just happened to be the guy that got totally healthy first and was able to go. The longer the season went, the better we got as an offense.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “After wins over Tulsa and Pittsburgh, Carter capped the landmark season by running for 105 yards and throwing a clinching 53-yard touchdown pass to Branch in a 27-17 win over Illinois in the Holiday Bowl. Carter was named the Outstanding Offensive Player of the Game.”

About their WAC-championship team, Carter said:
“I came from winning traditions. I won a lot of football games, but I’ve never felt as close to a group of guys on the football field as I did with that team. We had a lot of confidence, almost a little bit of arrogance, which you need sometimes to get you over the hump.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Carter, now a stevedore, enjoyed a stint as an assistant coach at Kapolei, where he coached two quarterbacks who went on to Division I football careers, Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (Navy) and current Hawaii receiver Jon Medeiros.”

About how he’ll go back to coaching football someday, Carter said:
“I don’t think there’s any way I wouldn’t get back in it.” (HSB)



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