I think just about every Las Vegas Raiders fan woke up on Friday morning and checked Twitter/the news to make sure the Davante Adams news was still real.
Adams, a Bay Area native, not only gets to fulfill a ‘lifelong dream’ of his by playing for the Raiders, but he also gets to reunite with his college teammate and quarterback, Derek Carr.
Carr, who is a couple of years older, was a four-star recruit in the 2009 class from Bakersfield, Ca. and walked on campus with a legacy to uphold. His brother David won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, finished fifth in the Heisman voting, was drafted first overall by the Houston Texans, and had his jersey retired just two years prior to Derek’s arrival. Big shoes to fill.
Adams, on the other hand, headed to the Valley as a bit of a ‘no-name’. He was the No. 2 receiver on his high school team as a junior, getting outpaced by World Series Champion and new San Francisco Giant Joc Pederson, who was a senior. Pederson had 30 catches for 650 yards and nine touchdowns, while Adams racked up 29, 484 and seven.
The year after the outfielder graduated, the wideout blossomed into a 1,000-yard receiver and led the Palo Alto Vikings to a CIF State championship. Still, he was only a two-star recruit and went to Fresno as the 281st-ranked wide receiver in the 2011 class.
In the fall of 2011, Adams redshirted while Carr was coming off his redshirt season and took over as the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback. Carr had a solid season statistically, completing 62.6 percent of his passes for 3,544 yards and 26 touchdowns to nine interceptions, with Jalen Saunders, the Eagles’ 2014 fourth-round pick, serving as his top target.
However, Fresno State went 4-9, fired legendary head coach and Bill Belichick disciple Pat Hill, and Saunders transferred to Oklahoma. Things looked bleak in the Valley but, in a way, all of this played a role in what is arguably the greatest two-year run in program history.
Tim DeRuyter takes over as head coach the following year after serving as defensive coordinator at Texas A&M and Adams gets a chance to start. He and Carr have immediate chemistry as they connect on 19 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns in their first two games against Weber State and Oregon.
Adams finishes the year with 102 grabs for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Carr ends up with a 67.3 percent completion rate, 4,104 yards and 37 scores to seven picks, and the team went 9-4 and were Conference co-Champions. However, the following season is when history started getting made.
Derek breaks David’s single-season school records in passing yards (5,082) and touchdowns (50), and Davante re-writes the books for every major receiving category, receptions (131), receiving yards (1,718) and touchdowns (24). For those curious, all of their records still stand today.
Fresno State finished the regular season 10-1 and went on to win the inaugural Mountain West Conference Championship game with the Raiders’ new wide receiver and quarterback tandem leading the way.
After an ugly loss in the Las Vegas Bowl, Carr graduated and Adams declared for the NFL Draft and their run together was over...well, I guess I should say put on pause.
2013 truly was a special season in the Valley which, coincidently, ended in the same city that the former Bulldogs will reunite in. Raiders fans can only hope that they’ll be able to replicate the magic that they had together nearly a decade ago.
So, now that we’ve taken a high-level look at the last time Adams and Carr were teammates, let’s go back and enjoy some of their top performances in 2013.
Week 1: Fresno St 52 Rutgers 51 (OT)
Carr: 52-73, 456 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
Adams: 14 catches, 148 yards, 2 TDs
Week 2: Fresno St 41 Cal Poly 25
Carr: 22-31, 205 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
Adams: 5 catches, 31 yards, 1 TD
Week 4: Fresno St 41 Boise St 40
Carr: 39-60, 460 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
Adams: 12 catches, 110 yards, 1 TD
Week 5: Fresno St 42 Hawaii 37
Carr: 33-47, 324 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Adams: 5 catches, 22 yards, 0 TDs
Week 6: Fresno St 61 Idaho 14
Carr: 37-48, 419 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
Adams: 16 catches, 185 yards, 3 TDs
Week 7: Fresno St 38 UNLV 14
Carr: 33-48, 412 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
Adams: 8 catches, 221 yards, 4 TDs
Week 8: Fresno St 35 San Diego St 28 (OT)
Carr: 35-57, 298 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Adams: 12 catches, 87 yards, 2 TDs
Week 9: Fresno St 41 Nevada 23
Carr: 39-55, 487 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
Adams: 8 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD
Week 10: Fresno St 48 Wyoming 10
Carr: 33-46, 360 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
Adams: 11 catches, 79 yards, 1 TD
Week 13: Fresno St 69 New Mexico 28
Carr: 27-37, 522 yards, 7 TDs, 0 INTs
Adams: 9 catches, 246 yards, 4 TDs
Week 14: Fresno St 52 San Jose St 62
Carr: 38-50, 519 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT
Adams: 9 catches, 246 yards, 3 TDs
CC: Fresno St 24 Utah St 17
Carr: 36-53, 404 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
Adams: 9 catches, 168 yards, 1 TD
BG: Fresno St 20 USC 45
Carr: 30-54, 217 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Adams: 9 catches, 74 yards, 1 TD