Tennessee receiver Jacob Carter earns scholarship, makes catch in whirlwind week

Dooley rewards junior WR after 2 years as walk-on

Know your Vols: Sophomore tailbacks name their top picks

Jacob Carter was walking off the practice field two weeks ago when he was given a somewhat ominous message: "Coach Dooley wants to speak with you."

The junior receiver, who had labored for more than two years as a walk-on, had no inkling of the surprise that was to come.

"Coach Dooley kind of pulled me to the side of the field and said, 'I'm going to give you a scholarship this year,'" Carter said. "I didn't know what to say. I was just like, 'Thanks.' "

Things got better for Carter.

Not long after earning the scholarship, Carter learned he would travel with the team for the first time.

On Friday night at the Georgia Dome — his 21st birthday — Carter caught his first career reception in Tennessee's win over N.C. State.

"It's been crazy," Carter said.

Carter was the beneficiary of Da'Rick Rogers' departure last month — which likely freed up the scholarship that went to him — and a series of injuries that thinned out the depth in Tennessee's receiving corps. Competition for playing time will be stiffer as more players return from injury, starting when the Vols (1-0) face Georgia State (0-1) at Neyland Stadium on Saturday (TV: PPV, 4 p.m.).

But when the opportunity arrived, Carter seized it.

"He's worked really hard to earn where he's at," said receivers coach Darin Hinshaw. "He understands the offense. He understands three or four positions. We can put him anywhere. That's value."

Carter played football, basketball and soccer at Ensworth High School in Nashville and joined the Vols as a walk-on in 2010, Dooley's first year.

He was one of 10 players who caught a pass against N.C. State. Carter's 20-yard reception came on an important third-and-6 play in the second quarter.

Dooley said Carter's performance in games was no surprise, since he's been making consistent contributions in practice from Day 1.

"He's made some remarkable plays in scrimmages time after time," Dooley said.

Getting noticed by coaches is one thing. Moving up the depth chart is another.

"Walk-ons always have it the hardest, because you've got to prove it over and over and over," Dooley said. "You're always putting the scholarship guys ahead of them because you just can't bear to admit you made a mistake."

Now Carter is a "scholarship guy," at least for this year. Aside from the morale boost, there's a practical benefit to his new status: Free tuition.

"My parents were pumped about it. It was a big relief for them," Carter said. "They were probably as excited as I was, and I was pretty excited. It was great news."

It was news Carter didn't expect to hear until after this season, if at all.

Now the challenge is maintaining his progress even after returning players make the depth chart more crowded.

"We have a lot of talent," Carter said, "but I'm going to continue to try and contribute."

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 49

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

He's dern sure earned it.

CONGRATS young man and keep up the great work.

VFL...GBO!!!

HallowedHill writes:

Gratz and Happy Birthday

GO VOLS!

jobrando#216494 writes:

thanks coach

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Great to hear a young man rewarded for hard work..Especially after hearing of athletes throwing opportunity out the window because of selfish behavior. This young man has been busting his hump making grades and paying his own way..CDD did an honorable thing here.

richvol writes:

From what I saw in the spring game,and what I've read about him during fall camp,this young man is a great possession receiver and is very reliable in getting open and making the catch. Glad to see his hard work rewarded.

Hounddawg writes:

I heard that David Howell has been lobbying for this. Congrats young man!

gc_scvol writes:

Congrats, Young Man, you've earned it. Found out about him at Orange and White game. He looked really good. Thanks, Coach Dooley. GOOD MOVE !! GBO ...VFL..

tovolny writes:

I like Coach Dooley. I think he is a keeper folks. Now, he has sent the message that kids with heart, toughness, savy, and the right "brought-up-ness" can get with the Vols and make a difference. Way to go Jake...and thanks to you too, Coach Dooley!!!!!

Vol_in_GA writes:

Rudy...Rudy...Rudy...Rudy...Rudy

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Nice comments from all of you. Jacob.......great reward to you for your hard work. You earned it.

All of your pull together as a team. We'll be fine.

VolBy3 writes:

Great job Jacob! Hard work pays off. Don't let up. We need to fire on all cylinders all the time. Go Vols!

All4Vols!!

Caspian writes:

An attitude of gratitude instead of entitlement. How refreshing is that? Way to go Jake. If you take what you've done over the last 2 years and consistently apply it over the rest of your life, there is no limit to how far you can go.

VOLinTX writes:

Outstanding. It's great to hear that the blue collar workers (walk-ons) of football get recognized. Congratulations!!! I love it.

The_Ron_Burgundy writes:

Love to see a guy like this get rewarded. Then to make a big play in the first game is just the icing on the cake. Keep working my man and good things will keep coming.

Huttdawg100 writes:

That's great!!!

If you take one step, God will take 10 in your favor.

BluezVol writes:

Its guys like this that this country needs more of - perseverance, hard work, patience, selflessness and respect for those managing you. Those traits will serve you most handsomely in life Mr. Carter. Congratulations.

VOLFROMNC writes:

I like it. Sends a good message to the team. Moral is everything.

Rumblefish writes:

only one thing to say here.....ATTA BOY!

dannasman writes:

Love to Hear a Story Like This... Way to EARN it Young Man!!!

Rumblefish writes:

And judging from his past 2yrs of work ethic, he will value this scholly A LOT MORE than Da'Dumarse who granted...has god given talent, but not a god given brain.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

Love stories like this, great job young man!

Scoon writes:

ClarkRange, you just love good bedtime stories, don't ya?

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to Scoon:

ClarkRange, you just love good bedtime stories, don't ya?

Of course. I am an optimist :)

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Great to hear a young man rewarded for hard work..Especially after hearing of athletes throwing opportunity out the window because of selfish behavior. This young man has been busting his hump making grades and paying his own way..CDD did an honorable thing here.

Hear, hear! Stories like this warm the heart of this old man. Here's hoping for continued success for a kid who clearly bleeds Big Orange.

cyclonevol87 writes:

Alot of times guys like DaRick Rogers take scholarships for granted,guys like Jacob love UT and what it stands for.

Scoon writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

Of course. I am an optimist :)

You, ClarkRange, are also the ultimate story-teller. How's Brown Eyes, btw?

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to Scoon:

You, ClarkRange, are also the ultimate story-teller. How's Brown Eyes, btw?

Falling asleep on my lap and HEALTHY. What more can I ask?

Scoon writes:

Not much more friend, you have it all. How old is that one, now?

DLuckySeven writes:

CONGRATS TO YOU!!!! Your effort and work paid off and your the type of person children should look up to.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to Scoon:

Not much more friend, you have it all. How old is that one, now?

Having a hard time responding. Don't know if it is the site or a virus on my end.
She is about to turn 3 and my son just turned 6. I waited longer than most but hope I have a hightened appreciation. Anything going on with you?

Scoon writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

Having a hard time responding. Don't know if it is the site or a virus on my end.
She is about to turn 3 and my son just turned 6. I waited longer than most but hope I have a hightened appreciation. Anything going on with you?

Just still trying to clear those bars in street shoes. Dude, this board NEEDS some life! Gooood GREIF!!! Where's 'PooBear??

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to Scoon:

Just still trying to clear those bars in street shoes. Dude, this board NEEDS some life! Gooood GREIF!!! Where's 'PooBear??

Trolls are waiting for negative news and friendly rivals (like yourself) are giving due credit. I like civility but it isn't always exciting. lol. Headed to bed, have a good night my friend.

Scoon writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

Trolls are waiting for negative news and friendly rivals (like yourself) are giving due credit. I like civility but it isn't always exciting. lol. Headed to bed, have a good night my friend.

"I like civility but it isn't always exciting."

And just what do you suspose that I am to do about this?? ... seeings how I had the pointy cleats from 'somebody's' big old boots put right to the seat of my Big Blue rump nearly more times than what I can count? Remember?? Ya know something ClarkRange, continual boots just have a way of watering one down, get it ?!?!?

VolGrad writes:

He earned it in the spring and seized it because he never wavered in his performance. I haven't seen him drop one yet. He caught more than anyone else in the spring game, and did all the "little" things perfect. The catch he made in the game against NC State took a high level of awareness. He looked like he knew exactly where he was on the field in relation to both the 1st down and the sideline. I see him developing as a go-to guy in this offense.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

This young man has talent. This is a very good move for many reasons. If the coaches put him on the field they will be rewarded. He's a Wes Welker type player. I hope we continue to use him game after game.

Go Jacob! Go Vols!

AtLannaVol writes:

Awesome story! I'd take him in a trade for Duh Rick any day. Walk-ons can be the soul of a team. They want it the most.

Go Vols!

Way to go Dooley--former walk-on himself. This week just keeps gettin better.

Gator week needs to hurry up and get here.

Oh yeah, and congrats to Jacob Carter--Vol for Life and lovin it.

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

in response to RashaadSalabeb:

This young man has talent. This is a very good move for many reasons. If the coaches put him on the field they will be rewarded. He's a Wes Welker type player. I hope we continue to use him game after game.

Go Jacob! Go Vols!

Hopefully more like the Craig Faulkner type guy or however you spell his last name... played with Heath Schuler... white dude could catch a football now!

GO VOLS !!

lstbodeanvol writes:

made my day..this kid has worked hard from day 1 looked great in the O & W game..great attitude Ensworth coaches their young men up...WAY TO GO JACOB !!! LOOK FORWARD TO SOME MORE CLUTCH CATCHES AND A FEW TD'S GO VOLS !!!!!!

Timbo_Slice writes:

Congratulations to this young man! He made a name for himself in the O&W game and now all the hard work is paying off.
If this was the scholly free'd up after Duh'Rick left, I wonder what happened to Mac Clear's scholly? I'm sorry...I meant to say Cam! And also the one from the guy that graduated early and passed on his senior year to enter the business world? (Can't remember his name?)

UTbassdrummer writes:

Fabulous story. Work/patience. Another great addition to our great WR's. Love to see this kid in the endzone this saturday.

Orangepuddinskin writes:

Great news for you Jacob. You really bailed out a distressed Bray last Friday night. It looked like you had been there before. I hope to see a lot more of you in the future. GBO.

govolsn3 writes:

Its great to be a TENNESSEE VOL.....I think society has picked up a great person for the future in this VFL. Hard work pays off daddy always told me. Hope you get your first TD pass this weekend. GO VOLS VFL

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Awesome BD present for Carter! Awesome reward for his parents. Now maybe they can use this tuition to pay for coming to the games.lol
Thanks to Coach Hinshaw too. I'm sure he had some input.

martinvol34 writes:

in response to Caspian:

An attitude of gratitude instead of entitlement. How refreshing is that? Way to go Jake. If you take what you've done over the last 2 years and consistently apply it over the rest of your life, there is no limit to how far you can go.

I agree 100%. Attitudes of gratitude. How do we instill more of this into today's youth. I'd coach a thousand Jacob Carters. Talk about a feel good story. God is good!

dvhill100 writes:

Never underestimate the power of "want to". Nebraska made a living beating everyone with a lot of walk-ons in their decade of dominance.

luvmatersoup writes:

Yep, Yep...now bring on the Panthers! Go Vols!!!

DaleCarter18 writes:

Way to go Jacob!!

I_Bleed_Orange37618 writes:

Atta boy! Now these are stories I could read all day. And yes, I am sure his parents were excited!

frblalack writes:

Great news! Carter has done it the right way!!!

Congratulations Mr. Jacob Carter!!!

VFL - Bleed Orange!!!

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