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February 3, 2013

Carter to join football's best in Canton

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NEW ORLEANS, La. -- As is customary for each Super Bowl weekend, the next class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame was announced on Saturday. And one of the greatest players in Ohio State history is a part of it.

Eleven years after retiring from his 16-year NFL career, Cris Carter will have his bust stored in Canton, Ohio as a member of the Hall of Fame's class of 2013. After playing wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, and Miami Dolphins from 1987-2002, the Middletown, Ohio native ranks fourth in NFL history in receptions (1,101), ninth in receiving yards (13,899), and fourth in receiving touchdowns (130).

"This is the happiest day of my life," Carter said with tears in his eyes upon learning of his upcoming induction.

Prior to his storied NFL career, Carter spent three seasons at Ohio State, playing for the Buckeyes from 1984-86. In 1986, Carter became OSU's first All-American wide receiver, thanks to a junior season that saw him record 65 receptions for 1,066 yards and 11 touchdowns.

"When I went to Ohio State, they taught us good football," Carter told ESPN on Sunday. "My journey wasn't a journey for the Hall of Fame, man. My journey was the type of journey where a guy winds up either locked up or dead or doing something like that. When God has something for you, nothing's going to be able to stop it."

Over the course of his career in Columbus, the 6-foot-3 wideout tallied a school-record 168 receptions, which went for 2,421 yards and 26 touchdowns, and set the Rose Bowl record for receiving yards in a game with 172 in the 1985 game. Carter was ruled ineligible for his senior season in 1987 after it was found that he had secretly signed with an agent. As a result, the prolific player entered the NFL's supplemental draft, where the Eagles selected him with a fourth round pick.

Despite the manner in which his college career ended, Carter was named to OSU's All-Century team in 2000, and in 2003 he was inducted into Ohio State's Varsity O Hall of Fame.

Carter played for Philadelphia for three seasons before being cut and claimed on waivers by the Vikings. It was in Minnesota where he truly made his mark, being selected to eight Pro Bowls in 12 seasons while setting the majority of the franchise's receiving records. Carter closed out his career with a single season in Miami, playing for the Dolphins in 2002.

Perhaps due to his apparent disdain for the media, it wasn't until Carter's sixth year of eligibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame that he was selected, but here he is. Carter will officially be inducted into the hall on Saturday, Aug. 3, and will reportedly be inducted by his son, Duron Carter, who played wide receiver for the Buckeyes in 2009.



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