player photo

Quinton Carter

| | College: Oklahoma
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange

With injuries and experienced players no longer blocking him from regular playing time in the 2009, Carter proved to be a legitimate top safety prospect. The graduation of Nic Harris and Lendy Holmes opened a starting spot in '09 and Carter received second-team All-Big 12 honors with 88 tackles, 2.5 for loss, four interceptions and five pass breakups.

The Las Vegas native got a quick start to his career as a Sooner, earning playing time in five games and making one special teams tackle. He redshirted in 2007 because of a severely pulled hamstring. In Carter's sophomore season, he started two of 12 games, made 36 tackles (14 on special teams) and broke up two passes. He followed up that 2009 season with a strong senior campaign, garnering first-team all-conference honors with 92 tackles, 2.5 for loss, four interceptions, and five pass break-ups.

Carter is exactly the type of versatile defensive back NFL teams are looking for to slow down the pass-happy offenses in today's game. He has played strong and free safety in Bob Stoops' defense at Oklahoma because of his physicality and speed; his ability to make the big hit, support the run, play centerfielder, or even line up in man coverage is rare among college safeties. He should one of the top two or three safeties selected in April.


Read & React: Heady defender against the run and pass. Very quick to close on bubble screens whether lined up in man or coming down the hash. Capable of moving to the sideline quickly from the two-deep look, though he is sometimes a step late to recognize when the corner needs help. Comes off his coverage to close on the ball while it's in the air, often gets to the receiver as the ball arrives or a split second later.

Man Coverage: Athletic safety who can step up to play outside or in the slot, if needed. Asked to jump out on receivers on corner blitzes, can stay with them down the sideline or on the hot route over the middle. Needs work staying low and over his feet in his backpedal, as well as using his hands to prevent separation and knock receivers off their routes at the line.

Zone Coverage: Has the speed and playmaking ability to be an effective two-deep centerfielder. Closes to the ball in a hurry to make bone-jarring hits, forcing fumbles or incompletions. Owns good hands for the interception whether the ball is thrown at his numbers or in a jump-ball situation. Adjusts well to balls thrown behind him. Noses up against the run and when the quarterback scrambles, leaving his corner on an island if his man heads downfield. Late to get to the sideline at times, even when there is no threat of a run.

Closing/Recovery: Excellent closing speed to attack receivers and running backs in space. Plants and drives forward with a nice burst to the ball. Effective blitzer because of his speed and timing. Fair recovery speed and change-of-direction ability for a safety; can catch up to receivers if beaten on a quick initial move. Takes aggressive angles because of his speed, elusive NFL runners may take advantage of that.

Run Support: Headhunter in run support, attacking plays whether playing near the line or well off. Chases down ballcarriers from sideline to sideline. Willing to lower shoulder into lead blocks so others can make the play, but lacks great strength to take on linemen and disengage to make plays.

Tackling: Solid tackler who is a reliable last line of defense because of his athleticism and aggressive style. Is an intimidating presence, loves to lay the wood on the sideline and over the middle (will get penalized for big shots late, was actually thrown out of practices for being too jacked up). Will be the second or third man into the pile, forcing it backwards on most occasions by bringing his hips and keeping his feet moving. Comes in high on some tackles, grabbing shoulder pads and allowing shorter or stronger players to slip away.

Intangibles: Exceptional leader on the field and in the locker room. Receiving degree in sociology with a non-profit organization studies, but already has started has own non-profit called SOUL (Serving Others with Unity and Leadership) to help kids in the Las Vegas area. Redshirted the 2007 season with a severely pulled hamstring, also missed the beginning of the 2008 season with surgery on a slightly torn knee ligament.

2010 Season

First Team All-Amercan by AFCA, AP and Sports Illustrated … All-Big 12 first team by coaches and second team by AP … tied for team lead with four interceptions, two of which came against Oklahoma State … also picked off passes vs. Utah State and Texas … has three double-digit tackle games, including a career-high 17 vs. Texas Tech (highest tackle total by OU DB since '02) … had 14 tackles at Missouri and 10 at Baylor … recovered a fumble at Cincinnati … his 217 career tackles are No. 8 in OU history by a DB.

2009 Season

All-Big 12 second team by coaches and honorable mention by AP … took over starting position at free safety spot and responded as team's second-leading tackler with 80 stops … tied career high of 10 tackles twice vs. BYU and Texas Tech … eight tackles and an interception in the Sun Bowl win over Stanford … had at least seven tackles in eight games … picked off passes against Tulsa, Kansas, Kansas State and Stanford … also recovered a fumble against BYU … broke up two passes against Kansas.

2008 Season

Started two games at safety when defense shifted to five starting defensive backs … collected a career-high 10 tackles in first career start versus Kansas … had eight tackles, including two big hits, in second start at the Big 12 Championship … broke up passes in wins over Kansas State and Missouri … also had five tackles versus Texas Tech … third on team with 14 special teams tackles … led team with 14 solo special teams tackles.

2007 Season


2006 Season

Played in five games, all on special teams units … had one tackle against UAB … earned a reputation as one of the secondary's most physical players.

High School

As quarterback for Cheyenne High, threw for more than 650 yards and eight touchdowns during regular season … ran for 400-plus more yards … earned all-league honors as a junior … runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds … also a standout basketball player … coached by Dave Snyder.


Born July 20, 1988 … son of Clemon and Sandra Carter … graduated high school a semester early and enrolled at OU in January 2006 … owns a 37-inch vertical leap and runs a 4.45 40.

Latest News
03/15/2011 - NFLDraftScout.com Top Safeties: 2. Quinton Carter, Oklahoma, 6-1, 208, 2-3: Athletically, he warrants a second-round grade, but his 4.57 timed speed in Indianapolis was pedestrian. He has valuable versatility, enough to be used at either safety position and perhaps even to slide inside and cover slot receivers in big nickel packages. For some Cover 2 defenses, he'll be viewed as a cornerback. Carter's closing speed and bone-jarring tackling are consistently evident on game film. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange

  • Full Quinton Carter News Wire

    CBSSports.com Shop

    Fantasy Games
    2016 Super Bowl
    Super Bowl