Derek Carr Interview
QB / Fresno State

Updated - 6-2-12

By: Alex Khvatov


Alex Khvatov:  What are your measurements (height, weight and forty time)?

Derek Carr:  6’3, 205 and I ran a 4.56.  I set a school record for a QB with that time.

Alex Khvatov:  Coming out of high school, what programs showed interest in you?

Derek Carr:  LSU recruited me a lot.  I went on a visit there.  Les Miles pulled me aside and said how much he wanted me to play for them.  Utah was my first official offer.  SMU promised me that I would start as a true freshman.  It was their pitch.  I had letters from everywhere.  Most of the major programs were interested. 

Alex Khvatov:  What made you choose Fresno State?

Derek Carr:  I was waiting for their call.  I didn’t know why Pat Hill wasn’t calling me.  It made me upset.  Then I got a call from him.  He told me that he didn’t know whether Fresno State would be able to compete since I had offers from most of the top 25 programs.  I called him back the next day and accepted their offer.  People always said that they couldn’t win the big games.  I grew up here in this area.  I decided to go there because it was in my blood.  I rooted for them since I was a kid.  My brother played QB for them.  This is where my family went.  I love the fans.  I wanted to win a Championship for the city of Fresno.  My older brother (David Carr, former No.1 pick of the Texans) told me to weigh all of my options.  He told me to pray about it.  I decided to go and play for Fresno State.  The main thing is to win a Championship here.  LB Travis Brown went to Fresno because it is in his family and he grew up here.   


Alex Khvatov:  Describe your sophomore season when you were able to put up some impressive numbers.

Derek Carr:  From a team standpoint, we had a lot of injuries.  We won only four games.  It was depressing.  But life has its ups and downs.  Individually, I was so happy with the numbers.  I had a great season.  My dad was all hyped about it.  It was just a true blessing from God.  I didn’t throw a lot of picks.  I kept the interceptions in single digits.  It was big for me.  We played some big teams and we had success.       

Alex Khvatov:  What are your expectations for this season? 

Derek Carr:  Everyone is healthy.  We have great depth this year.  We have a lot of talent that will play at the next level.  We will take it one game at a time.  But the goal is to win a Championship.  That should be the goal for everyone who plays this game.  We get our safety back in Phillip Thomas.  He is our best player.  Derron Smith is another talented safety.  We have young guys and JC guys that will help.  WR Davante Adams was a redshirt last year.  He has big time potential.  WR Victor Dean is 6’6” and runs a 4.3.

Alex Khvatov:  How tough was it to see your head coach Pat Hill get fired after the season?    

Derek Carr:  It was hard.  I have known him for a long time since I have been a little kid.  He was the main reason why I came to Fresno State.  It was very tough because we were so close.  It is almost like losing a loved one.  I was disappointed.  It was hard on me for a little while.  He called me one day, and we talked.  It put some closure on the whole situation.  He is happy with what he is doing now.  It is the most important thing.


Alex Khvatov:  What are your early impressions of your new head coach, Tim DeRuyter? 

Derek Carr:  I feel comfortable.  I like his scheme.  He is a defensive minded guy.  He has been spending a lot of time with the defense, which is fine.  We have veterans on offense and we know what we are doing.  Coach Schramm came over as the offensive coordinator from Utah.  I feel comfortable in his offensive system.  I will take our wide receivers from top to bottom over anybody.  We have a lot of talent at the WR spot.  Robbie (Rouse) is one of the best RB’s in the country.

Alex Khvatov: 
Who are some of the best players on your team?   

Derek Carr:  One guy that deserves attention is RB Robbie Rouse.  He is a small back, but he is very tough.  He can throw 240 pound linebackers around.  My brother said to me that Robbie should be playing for the Giants.  He will take Robbie any day of the week.  Philip Thomas from Bakersfield, CA is by far the best safety.   


Alex Khvatov:  What are your strengths on the football field?

Derek Carr:  I have knowledge of the game.  I am in full control of the offense.  I could change any play at the line of scrimmage.  I can change routes for wide receivers or change a run to a pass.  The coaches trust me and give me freedom in terms of play calls.  I have a quick release.  My brother taught me to have a quick release.  I make quick decisions.  I throw hard.  I can throw it 80 plus yards.  Accuracy is most important.  My brother drilled me on that.


Alex Khvatov:  What areas of your game do you need to improve upon?

Derek Carr:  I think that it is different this year.  I am not going to play cautious like last year.  I am more comfortable.  I will take more chances.  I have learned from my mistakes.  I will continue to grow.


Alex Khvatov:  What is the highlight of your career so far?

Derek Carr:  I would definitely have to say the Nebraska game.  We went in there and we were putting it on them.  We lost, but we competed well during that game.  I had a rushing TD against Nebraska where I flipped into the end zone.  I jumped very high.  It was pretty cool.  I showed my athleticism.   Being in a pro style offense, I don’t get a chance to show my athleticism often.  Also my favorite throw was against North Dakota last year.  It was a deep post.  I threw it 65 yards on a line, and we scored a touchdown.  

Alex Khvatov: 
What is your favorite NFL team?

Derek Carr:  I root for whatever teams my brother plays for.  Right now I am a Giants fan.  But in my heart, I have been rooting for the Cowboys ever since I have been a kid.

Alex Khvatov: 
Who is your favorite NFL player?

Derek Carr:  Besides my brother, it would have to be Brett Favre.  He was just so tough.  They messed up the pronunciation of his name on draft day.  He showed everyone what he was capable of.

Alex Khvatov: 
What do you enjoy most about playing football?

Derek Carr:  Being out there with my teammates and competing as hard as you can.  Winning against the opponent. 


Alex Khvatov:  As a quarterback, what does it take to be a leader?

Derek Carr:  Definitely have to lead by example.  Guys won’t respect you until you show it.  You can talk all you want, but you have to show it during practice and during games.  You have to outwork everyone.


Alex Khvatov:  What do you like to do in your free time?  

Derek Carr:  Besides football, my favorite sport is basketball.  I usually stay behind the three-point line.  I play basketball with my fiancé.  I like to go surfing.  I go surfing with my brothers. 


Alex Khvatov:  Finish the sentence, Derek Carr is….

Derek Carr:  First thing, I am a Christian of integrity.  I mean what I say.  I am a loyal person to my soon to be wife and to my family.  My wedding is going to be on June 29th.  I am excited about it.  I want everyone to know that I am a pretty good football player.   



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