It’s not all good news in the after glow of Syracuse’s first FBS win in nearly a calendar year. Syracuse RB/LB commit Devan Carter broke his leg in a recent game, and will miss the remainder of his senior season. But his positive attitude is shining through in the toughest of times, and you can’t help but be impressed with his outlook.
The Rochester native rushed for over 200 yards against Irondequoit HS in the game, but was tackled awkwardly out of bounds on his final carry. There was fortunately no ligament damage, but the Brighton HS star will need about 6-8 weeks to recover. But the 6’2” 200 lb. Carter is staying optimistic, and tells The Fizz there is no reason to get discouraged.
“I don’t see any reason to be sad or low over the situation. It’s unfortunate and I would like to be playing right now for my teammates, but things happen, and I just have to live with it and chug on.”
Devan doesn’t need surgery, and admitted he could be back by mid-November. He has been recruited by SU to be a linebacker. That would be just in time for his track season. Carter will be put into a cast this week, and will have to get used to watching the game from the sidelines.
Carter tells The Fizz his friends, family and teammates have all been supportive. But what really lifted his spirit was a call from Tyrone Wheatley a few days after the injury. Wheatley had been recruiting the 2-star product since he was a junior, and convinced Devan to stay confident and to remain a positive influence on his teammates. It’s a familiar refrain, a recruit that speaks very highly of his connection with Wheat. Their relationship is very strong. Carter said Wheatley was the biggest reason why he chose Syracuse back in June.
“From the first time I met him, I just felt like he was a cool person, and easy to talk to. I felt like he knew what he was doing, it felt like he was a father figure. He was very down to earth, and he just told me stories about his experiences and stuff I could relate to.”
That fateful final carry was going to be his last snap of the night, according to Coach Stephen Lian. It was tough for Lian, but he soon realized this would be a great chance for Devan to grow as a leader.
“Absolutely. This is an opportunity for him sit back and just study. Obviously he’s going to have to make that transition to linebacker next year, and this is an opportunity for him to continue to learn and mentally go through reads and keys, and sit with our defensive coordinator or linebackers coach, and continue to learn and learn and learn.”
Lian says Carter is a fast healer. Carter is Brighton’s top tailback, but plays both ways. Even though he admits RB is his more natural position, Carter is willing to alter his game for SU.
“I’m pretty sure [Coach Wheatley] wanted me as a RB, but overall, they saw me as a linebacker. I don’t mind having to change-up, it’s not a problem for me. If they gave me a chance to play RB, I would definitely take it in a heartbeat, that’s for sure.”
Carter said that there are enormous advantages for a running back that plays on the defensive side of the ball, though. He can puts his knowledge of the backfield to good use.
“Since I am a running back, and especially when I see the snap of the ball and I see how the lineman move, I feel like I know where the player is going, and what their offense is trying to do.”
Carter will most likely visit SU next weekend for the UConn game on Friday night. It should be a good chance to take his mind off the injury. Lian knows when Carter returns to the field in Orange and Blue next summer, he’ll make an impact. The RB/LB is an explosive player, and his energy on the field is contagious.
“He’s a big kid who can move extensively well for his size. When facing adversity he’s just always positive and always encouraging. His teammates can’t help but laugh around him. He kind of, quite honestly, raises the level of play of everyone around him because when he is in the game, everyone just feels better about our chances and much better about what they’re doing.”
Nobody likes to watch from the sidelines, but the Orange commit is staying optimistic and in this case attitude is everything.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald