Steve Spurrier. Fred Taylor. Danny Wuerffel. Tim Tebow. Urban Meyer… The list goes on. There have been countless well-known names that have left some sort of legacy in the Florida Gators football program.
These names scream leadership, championships and, offensive fireworks.
But what about the defense. In addition to great offensive teams, the Gators have also had some tremendous defensive talent over the years.
Someone that may ring a bell for Florida fans on this side of the ball during the 90s is Kevin Carter.
Carter played for the Gators from 1991-1994. During his four-year career, he racked up a total of 42.5 tackles for loss and 21.8 sacks. Additionally, Carter also took home an abundance of awards and mentions.
First, he was named first-team All-SEC during his junior and senior seasons, according to an article on the Florida Gators’ website. Second, also during his senior year, Carter was one of five finalists in two defensive awards. One was the 1994 Defensive Player of the Year Award by Football News. The next was the 1994 Lombardi Award. This was given to the best lineman in the country.
Lastly, Carter also started in 38 of his last 39 games, leading to him being a four-year letter winner.
While racking up awards can be special, it’s the memories built along the way that make playing sports like football that much sweeter. And for Carter, one of his favorites came during his freshman season.
Carter has really enjoyed looking back on his years as a Gator with some of his old teammates, especially given everything that’s been happening these last few months. He said being that he now lives in the sunshine state, he is always running into someone he knows while out.
Life as a Pro
In 1995, Carter was drafted sixth overall by the St. Louis Rams. He spent six seasons with the Rams and was apart of the 2000 Super Bowl championship team.
After his tenure in St. Louis, Carter then went to Tennessee where he played from 2001-2004. He spent his last four years in the NFL in the sunshine state as a member of the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In total, Carter accumulated 364 total tackles, 104.5 sacks and five forced fumbles during his 14-year NFL career. Furthermore, his best season was in 1999 when he recorded a league-best 17 sacks for the year.
That accomplishment led to Carter earning Pro Bowl, All-Pro and All-Madden honors.
When talking about the fans in St. Louis, Carter said at first they felt abandon being that the Cardinals had just left the city for Arizona. But upon the arrival of he and the football team in 1995, the city was ecstatic and ready to cheer them on.
While his name may get lost among some of the other greats who have come through Florida, Carter deserves the recognition as arguably one of the best to put on a Gators’ uniform. Now, in his post-playing days, he continues to find a way to be around the sport he’s played all his life. This time, behind the camera.