Whatever Nole fans think about Greg Carr, they probably don't think of him as one of Florida State's greatest receivers. But stats don't lie. And Carr's numbers put him up there with the Noles all-time best.
• Only Peter Warrick has caught more Seminole touchdowns than Carr (29).
• He's tied with Warrick and Ron Sellers for 4th in all time Season TD Catches (12).
• He's fifth in all time Career Receptions with 148.
• He's fifth in Career receiving yards (2574)
At 6'6" the guy made it look easy, leaping over smaller DBs like they were Pop Warner kids. Yet Carr had more going for him than just being a jump ball artist. That was his role under Jeff Bowden. But when Jimbo Fisher became offensive coordinator, Greg learned to run better routes and become a more complete receiver.
Signed as a free agent by San Diego in 2009, Carr made it all the way to the final cutdown. But in 2010, he found a good fit with Winnipeg of the Canadian League. Joining the team in mid-season, he scorched opponents with 31 receptions for 568 yards and four TDs in only seven games.
Now Carr is out to prove he can once again dominate DBs, putting up numbers that will make NFL teams take notice and dial his agent's number.
We spoke to him about his ambitions and his FSU career during Winnipeg's pre-season camp.
How's the transition going from American football to the Canadian game?
Carr: "I'm still learning. Instead of being stationary like in the states, I'm able to move back and forth. Here, I'm more of an X motion receiver who can move up and down the line, so that adjustment wasn't too bad."
Are they using you like FSU did in a lot of jump ball situations?
Carr: "I'd say it's more of a variety of things. There's more to it than just the jump ball because there are more things you can do in the Canadian game."
How do you think you've grown as a receiver in your CFL career?
Carr: "I think I've grown a lot. I've gotten accustomed to the game, what you can and can not do. But I've still got a lot of things I can improve at. So it's an exciting time for me. I just want to continue and get better."
What did you do during the off season?
Carr: "I was actually in Tallahassee working out, and spending time with my family."
When you think of your playing days at FSU, what game comes to mind first?
Carr: I would have to say winning an ACC Championship my freshman year. That was a big game. But I just remember everything -- my teammates and just that whole environment then being at Florida State. My biggest memory would probably be my first touchdown, and with my Mom there. That was an exciting experience for me and my family.
At FSU did you have specific jump ball plays, where it was just, "Go up and get it, Greg"?
Carr: "Yes, at times that's exactly what it was. It was just our coaching staff believing that I could make a play because I was a better player than the DB I was going up against. There were times that even Coach Bowden would tell me, "We're going to throw one up to you and we need you to make the play." And I just tried to play to the best of my ability. "
You played for two different offensive coordinators. How did things change with Jimbo Fisher?
Carr: "I would say there were different demands with Coach Fisher. He was more about getting your whole game together. He was focusing more on your weaknesses rather than your strengths. He wanted to get your weaknesses up to the same level as your strengths. That was my biggest adjustment. He'd say, 'You're not going to be able to just go up and get the jump ball. I want you to able to run this route and that route.' And we also had more double moves when Coach Fisher came."
Would you say it made you a more complete player under Fisher your last two years?
Carr: "Yeah, I would say so."
Even though your production dropped off in 2007 and '08?
Carr: "I'd say I was much improved as a route runner and just understanding the whole scheme. So while the production wasn't there, at the same time I thought I was a better player for it."
People remember you for the jump ball, but they never talk about your excellent hands?
Carr: "If I go up with the DB and we both have our hands on the ball and I snatch it away from him, a lot of people just assume that I beat him on the jump ball. People didn't take into consideration that 'he has strong hands.' It's one thing to be able to jump for the ball, and something else to have strong hands to go up and get it. You have to have the right timing. You have to know how to position yourself, and all the rest. There was far more to it than just being 6'6"."
What's the big difference between the defensive backs you faced in college and the ones you go up against in the pros?
Carr: "In college, I didn't think a lot of DBs took the time to study a receiver. While in the pros you have guys that do the film work -- who will study your moves, and who will understand that 'nine times out of ten when he does this, he's going to do that…' As a receiver, you have to be more creative with the things you do (in the pros). You can't just go to the same move every time, because guys will key on that."
What do you recall most about Coach Bowden?
Carr: "The thing that always stuck with me about Coach Bowden was that everybody knows he loves to win, but he was a guy who wanted to do it the right way. He wanted you to go out there and not only represent Florida State, but represent your family. He told us we've gotta go out and enjoy it and be the best player you can be. But at the same time, keep family first and keep your priorities in order. It was great playing for a guy who was well respected for winning. But winning wasn't everything for him, because he understood it's more about doing things the right way."
You grew up in gator country. How did you end up at Florida State?
Carr: "I wasn't a gator fan. I was a Michigan Wolverines fan. And my favorite player was Charles Woodson. So I wanted to get away from home, and Florida was recruiting me and I thought Gainesville was too close to home. Miami was too far away from home. But Florida State in Tallahassee was just right. And then I was more familiar with the guys who came in my recruiting class, like Xavier Lee and Kenny O'Neal. That helped make it a more comfortable decision for me."
Are you hoping to get a call again from an NFL team?
Carr: "I'm looking at it. That's something I want. But at the same time I'm just taking advantage of the opportunity I have here and want to make the best of it. And if it comes, it comes. But if not, I'm perfectly fine being in the great city of Winnipeg. This is a very nice place to be."