On September 2nd, the Fresno State Bulldogs will be retiring the iconic #4 of quarterback Derek Carr. That’s quite an impressive accomplishment for a player who, we must remember, is only 26 years old. His maturity level and football IQ are that of a ten-year veteran, so it’s hard to see him as that young. Carr was asked about his jersey being retired today, and this is what he had to say:
“I tried to say as much as I could in the 60 seconds you get on Instagram, but I’ve dreamed of that since I was a little kid. I said every time I walked down that ramp for practice, a game, a lift, a run at 6 a.m., thanks a lot [former Fresno State Strength and Conditioning] coach [Joey] Boese. I would look up and see Carr No. 8, and it was motivating every single day that I’m going to get my name up there. It was a reminder. I can remember times in some of the hardest games where I would look up and I’d see it and it was just a reminder of how hard I needed to go in that game. It was just little things like that. It sounds silly to some people, but I wanted to leave my imprint on that community and on that school. The fact that they called and they want to do that is a dream come true. It was one of my top goals. I have a lot of goals, but there’s very few at the top that I wanted to reach and for my football career that was one of them. It really is a humbling thing. I was very emotional when they told me. I was like, ‘What?’ I didn’t think they’d do that until I was like 40 years old. I’ll take it.”
It must be pretty inspiring to look up during your game every week and see your older brother’s jersey, especially since young Derek stood on the stage as David Carr was drafted first overall by Houston. But it also brings a lot of pressure as well, and high expectations. Carr is having his number retired because he met and exceeded those expectations and handled that pressure with poise just as we have seen him do in a Raider uniform.
Carr was also asked about his future personal goals, but as usual his answer was team-oriented.
“Win a Super Bowl, and not just one but multiple. That’s not just for me, that is for our city, for our fans, for my teammates, these coaches, all of us that are away from our family in this silly, little hotel for weeks on end. The hours that we put in, there is so much that I could get into that I want to win that so badly for everybody else because there’s nothing like… I’ll never forget when we won that game my rookie year versus Kansas City. We won one game, we were 1-10, and to sit there and watch everybody celebrate, there’s nothing like it. I just sat there and enjoyed it. That’s probably number one.”
When he says “for our city”, one would assume he means Oakland. And when he says “multiple Super Bowls”, surely he means “win the next two Super Bowls in Oakland before the team moves to Las Vegas”. But there’s no doubt that Carr will have the same drive, the same competitive fire in Sin City and will do his best to bring championships to the High Desert as well. I hope all Derek Carr’s dreams come true.