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Bruce Carter (American football)

Bruce Edward Carter born February 19, 1988 is an American football linebacker for the New York Jets of the National Football League NFL He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft He played college football at the University of North Carolina


  • 1 Early years
  • 2 College career
    • 21 Freshman year
    • 22 Sophomore year
    • 23 Junior year
    • 24 Senior year
  • 3 Professional career
    • 31 Dallas Cowboys
      • 311 2011 season
      • 312 2012 season
      • 313 2013 season
      • 314 2014 season
    • 32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    • 33 New York Jets
      • 331 2016 season
      • 332 2017 season
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Early years

Carter attended Havelock High School in Havelock, North Carolina He played quarterback, safety and running back As a senior, he rushed for 1,063 yards with 15 touchdowns as a running back and threw for 585 yards and five touchdowns as a quarterback

Considered a three-star recruit by Rivalscom, Carter was listed as the No 33 safety prospect in the nation

College career

Freshman year

Carter was converted to linebacker in college In the Tar Heels' season opener, against James Madison, Carter got his first blocked punt The football was recovered in the end zone by a fellow Tar Heel for a touchdown Carter started his first game as a Tar Heel in the game against East Carolina, he garnered four tackles during the game As a freshman in 2007 Carter started seven of 12 games, recording 25 tackles

Sophomore year

As a sophomore in 2008 Carter started all 13 games at outside linebacker In the game against Rutgers, Carter intercepted a pass and returned it 66 yards for a touchdown, this was the first touchdown of his career In the Tar Heels' game against Miami, Carter blocked one punt The blocked punt proved to be crucial, as the Tar Heels drove 56 yards down the field and scored after the punt was blocked One of Bruce Carter's best games of his sophomore season was the game against Connecticut The blocking of three punts in one game earned Carter the ACC record for most punts blocked in a single game In that game he recorded three blocked punts, all of which occurred during the second quarter of the game In the Tar Heels' loss to the Virginia Cavaliers, Carter blocked a Cavalier field goal attempt He finished the season with 68 tackles, five sacks, an interception, which was returned for a touchdown, and a nation leading five blocked kicks

Junior year

Carter started all 13 games as an outside linebacker Carter tipped a punt in the Tar Heel's game against the Citadel In the Tar Heels' game against Georgia Southern, Carter intercepted a pass and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown, this was Carter's second career touchdown As a junior in 2009, Carter has 48 tackles, a sack, and an interception Carter earned a career-high 13 tackles in the game against NC State Carter was voted to Second-Team All-ACC This was Carter's only season where he did not record a blocked punt

Senior year

Carter returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown in the third game of the season against Rutgers In that game Carter also recorded a blocked punt and seven tackles Carter's senior season was cut short due to a knee injury, which dropped his draft stock He sustained the injury during the game against NC State He would miss the last two games of the season against Duke and the 2010 Music City Bowl, which was played against Tennessee Volunteers

He was a finalist for the 2010 Butkus Award, but lost to Von Miller of Texas A&M He finished his final season as a Tar Heel with 57 tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 25 sacks, and one forced fumble Carter was again voted to Second-Team All-ACC

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

2011 season

Cater was considered one of the top linebacker prospects for the 2011 NFL Draft Carter was projected as a first round draft pick before sustaining an ACL injury in his left knee during his senior season Just as they did with Sean Lee who had a similar situation when he was drafted, the Dallas Cowboys selected him in the second round 40th overall of the 2011 NFL Draft

He spent his rookie season recovering from the injury On October 29, he was activated from the non-football injury list to the Cowboys active roster, taking the spot of the waived Tashard Choice His participation was mostly limited to special teams, playing only a total of 41 defensive snaps

2012 season

Entering the 2012 season the team decided not to resign Keith Brooking and Bradie James, because they considered Carter to be ready to start at inside linebacker next to Sean Lee, after playing outside linebacker for most of his college career

The Cowboys also signed Dan Connor as a free agent to compete with Carter and to protect themselves in case he couldn't earn a starting role That potential competition never materialized, because Carter would end up having a break out year, even expanding his role after Lee was placed on injured reserve in October He finished second on the team with 70 tackles, despite being placed on injured reserve for the final five games, after dislocating his left elbow on Thanksgiving Day

2013 season

In 2013, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was hired to change the defense to a 4-3 alignment, so he was switched to weakside linebacker, which was the same role in the Tampa 2 defense made famous by hall of famer Derrick Brooks Although he was seen as a natural fit and there were high expectations placed on him, he struggled in preseason, where he started being platooned with Ernie Sims These difficulties carried on into the regular season and after a poor performance against the San Diego Chargers, he was benched for the first time at any level After two games he regained his starter role over Sims and finished with 96 tackles third on the team and 2 sacks In a historic down year for the Cowboys defense, his performance was seen as a disappointment

2014 season

In 2014, he was moved to strongside linebacker, so he could line behind the three-technique right defensive tackle position and be free to make plays He suffered a right quadriceps injury against the New Orleans Saints and was lost for three games Although his playing time was reduced in November, losing his starting role after the game against the Arizona Cardinals, he would finish strong while concentrating on the nickel defense and special teams, finishing with 68 tackles, 5 interceptions led the team, 8 passes defensed and a blocked punt

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

On March 11, 2015, he signed a four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Although he was projected to start at middle linebacker, he was moved to sam linebacker, after rookie Kwon Alexander outperformed him in training camp He was used mostly as a backup only 3 starts, finishing with 47 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 passes defensed On March 8, 2016, he was waived in a salary cap move

New York Jets

2016 season

Carter signed a one-year contract with the New York Jets on April 2 He apeared in 13 games, registering 13 defensive tackles and 5 special teams tackles

2017 season

On May 4, Carter re-signed with the Jets on a one year contract He played in 14 games


  1. ^ "Safeties 2006", Rivalscom, January 30, 2006 
  2. ^ "Bruce Carter will block that kick" Retrieved February 19, 2017 
  3. ^ "NFL Draft - 2011 OLB Draft Prospects", CBSSportscom, retrieved November 24, 2009 
  4. ^ "Bruce Carter Profile", NFLDraftScoutcom, retrieved November 24, 2009 
  5. ^ "All Cowboys draft picks now under contract" Foxsportssouthwestcom 2011-07-29 Retrieved 2012-09-17 
  6. ^ Archer, Todd "Cowboys confident Bruce Carter can get it done - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN Dallas" ESPNcom Retrieved 2012-09-17 
  7. ^ Orsborn, Tom 2012-09-08 "Carter-Lee duo provides Cowboys' inside scoop at linebacker - San Antonio Express-News" Mysanantoniocom Retrieved 2012-09-17 
  8. ^ "Cowboys shelve Bruce Carter" Retrieved February 19, 2016 
  9. ^ "Bruce Carter flourishing in new role" Retrieved February 19, 2016 
  10. ^ Hartstein, Larry "Bucs sign LB Bruce Carter to four-year deal" CBSSports Retrieved 11 March 2015 
  11. ^ Smith, Scott March 11, 2015 "Bucs Land Carter to Strengthen LB Corps" Buccaneerscom Retrieved March 11, 2015 
  12. ^ "Deposed LB Bruce Carter dumped by Bucs 1 year into four-year deal" Retrieved February 19, 2016 
  13. ^ Patra, Kevin April 2, 2016 "Jets agree to 1-year deal with Ex-Bucs LB Bruce Carter" NFLcom Retrieved April 2, 2016 
  14. ^ Lange, Randy May 4, 2017 "Jets-Re-Sign-LB-Bruce-Carter" NewYorkJetscom 

External links

  • North Carolina bio

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Bruce Carter (American football)

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