Last season Duron Carter didn’t even have a team, let alone a spot in the playoffs.
What a difference a year makes.
The effervescent receiver was cut by the Montreal Alouettes so late in the 2016 season that by league rules he was unable to join another team.
Now with the Roughriders, not only is Carter a star receiver, but he’s been a successful defensive back and a big part of why the Riders have made the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Carter is surprisingly cavalier, but as always, refreshingly candid, when asked if he thought the Roughriders might be his last kick at the can when it came to professional football.
“At the end of the day I’m just going to be me and if me and football don’t correlate, then so be it. I can only be myself all the time and shoot, if they ran out of teams for me to go to I guess I’d have to find something else,” he said after walk through on Thursday.
Not that he’d want to. It’s obvious to anyone who’s watching that Carter is having the time of his life playing football on either side of the ball.
“I just go out there having a bunch of fun. I wouldn’t want to say I don’t take it serious but for me, I’m just out there playing a game,’” he said. “I’m out there like I was playing in the street and you play every position and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
It’s that signature confidence that has led to a lot of Carter’s success. He believes he can do it, and so he does.
“For me, I always think I’m the best football player going out there on the field regardless of where I’m at,” he said Thursday.
“When the ball goes up there in the air there’s not anyone out there that can stop me.”
With 72 receptions for 1,037 yard and eight touchdowns, plus two defensive tackles and a pick-six, it’s easy to believe him.
And while many fans may have a favourite Carter touchdown, he himself finds all of it pretty fleeting. He’d rather just keep topping himself instead.
“(Touchdowns) come and go. I forget about what happens in games. I just like to keep making new highlights,” he said.
And there’s sure to be more of those to come. Carter said he’s not sure how much time he’ll play in each position as a receiver or defensive back in Friday’s game – or going forward, but one thing is sure, he’s ready to head into the playoffs and write a new script for himself.
“I’ve got to play well in the playoff and get to a Grey Cup,” he said. “That’s my goal this season to get to a Grey Cup. That’ll be the pinnacle of everything that happened last year and me being a team leader here and getting to a Grey Cup and everybody being happy. That’ll be great.”
The Riders and the Alouettes kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.
The Green Zone 10-hour game day begins at 3:00 p.m.