PLAYER PROFILE: Carrier has speed to burn
Tyron Carrier is quickly emerging as a two-sport star in football and track and could become as familiar a name as Bo Jackson or Julius Peppers.
Carrier, a high-school track champion, has qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 200-meter dash. The event will be held June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.
‘I really didn’t think I was going to make it (to the championships), because coming right out of football there’s a lot of problems body-wise,’ Carrier said. ‘When I made it there, it was a blessing.’
Carrier made it to the second round of last year’s NCAA Championships, but failed to qualify for the finals. He posted a 20.96-second finish in the 200 meters.
Carrier said he hopes to set a personal record this time. But to accomplish this, he must stick to fundamentals and stay within himself.
‘Just go out there and do me, just run like I run the race, don’t try to change nothing,’ Carrier said. ‘Just having fun, that’s the most important thing.’
The track season comes to an end after the meet, but Carrier won’t get much rest. Up next is another football season. Carrier brings his blinding speed to the gridiron, playing wide receiver and handling kickoff and punt returns for head coach Kevin Sumlin.
The Worthing High School product had a spectacular freshman season, hauling in 80 receptions for 1,026 yards and nine touchdowns.
‘There’s no way in the world I thought I’d catch that many passes for that many yards,’ Carrier said. ‘Our offense is kind of crazy, too. Throwing the ball a lot is what I like, because that means I’m catching a lot of passes.’
Carrier and the Cougars open up the 2009 football season Sept. 5 at home against Northwestern State before their nationally televised matchup with Texas Tech, three weeks later at Robertson Stadium.
Even with a busy year-round schedule, Carrier, who has yet to declare a major, still finds time to complete his homework and relax while playing video games. Some people may wonder why a player with Carrier’s speed would choose UH over other schools.
‘I’m at home and I get a lot of family to come out and support me,’ Carrier said. ‘I get a home-cooked meal almost every day if I want it. Plus, the (storied) tradition here.’
Carrier’s favorite star on the track is Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay. On the football side, it’s legendary Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders. Carrier, who has 40-yard sprint times in the 4.3 to 4.4-second range, may be faster than Sanders in his prime, but still has a lot of work left to get where they ended up.
If Carrier could pursue a third sport, it would be baseball. In middle school, he showcased his speed on the diamond, playing shortstop and center field while sometimes pitching.
Although reaching the national meet is quite an accomplishment, Carrier is aiming higher.
‘I got to make it to the finals, that’s my biggest goal,’ Carrier said. ‘If I make it there, I can make something happen.’