Fresno State Will Retire Derek Carr’s Number
For the season-opener, the Bulldogs will retire Carr’s jersey.
Derek Carr’s No. 4 will be retired from Fresno State
I first met Derek Carr outside of Me and Ed’s pizza in Bakersfield. The Bulldogs were touring to introduce the new staff and I sat down at a table with Carr, asked him about his style of teaching and leadership, and his response said as much about the man he was then as it does about the amount of success he has had since.
Football is a team sport. In order to achieve your goals together, you have to be able to envision them as a group and that starts with the quarterback and team leader. Carr’s comments seem to define everything about him as a player.
“I care about their future as much as they do,” Carr said. “First and foremost, I am going to push them, I’m going to demand excellence. I’m going to explain that this is how we do things here and if you don’t do it this way, you know, we can’t help you here.
“The first thing anyone has to know is that I’m going to demand a lot out of them, but at the same time, when I first came here, people demanded a lot out of me, and I don’t regret one thing that’ve done so far. I’m going to bring them on as fast as I can, I’m very excited to get to work with them.”
Fresno State will retire Derek Carr’s jersey at halftime of the season opener against Incarnate Word. Carr, who will be with the Oakland Raiders preparing for the season, will travel to Fresno following the Raiders’ final preseason game against the Seahawks, and will obviously be in attendance for the festivities as the Bulldogs open up a new chapter under Jeff Tedford, a former Fresno State alumni.
Carr passed for 12,843 yards at a 66.7% completion percentage. He completed an average of 7.9 yards per attempt, threw for 113 touchdowns against only 24 interceptions. His season in 2013 saw him become the all-time leader in passing yardage (5,082) and touchdown passes (50). The Bulldogs won 11 games that year and narrowly missed out on the BCS if not for a loss to the San Jose State Spartans on the final game of the regular season.
On a personal level, Carr was an exemplary student-athlete on and off the field for the Bulldogs. Win or lose, Derek always took the time to break down what went wrong, where he went wrong, and never threw his teammates under the bus. He was a joy to cover and tremendous fun to watch in action. He always showed a level head and that’s something that he considered to be a point of pride. In fact, it was one of his biggest points of pride.
“My brother, David, he gave me great advice,” Derek said. “He told me that when you’re doing good, people are going to write a lot of great things about you, they’re gonna praise, and they’re gonna say all these things. When you do poorly, those same people are gonna be just as quick to throw you under the bus, bash you, and all that good stuff.
“With that said, he always taught me not to listen to either of them. Don’t listen to the praise, don’t listen to the trash. It will mess with your emotions, we’re human. It will bring you down, it will get you too high and you’ll get full of yourself. I think that has given me a level head and that’s the thing…
“If I could hang my hat on something, that’s the thing I hang my hat on; trying to be level-headed and not let the good get too good or the bad get too bad in my life.”
The good is just getting started in Derek’s life and this could only be the first occasion upon which Carr’s jersey is retired. As a person, player, and teammate, Derek has dedicated time and energy to elevating his craft to a level that elevates those around him.
Carr is just beginning the long road to becoming a potential NFL great, but the fact that nobody else will ever wear his number at Fresno State is a testament to how much he gave the Valley, Fresno State, and the Mountain West.