2021 Fourth-Round Pick: Michael Carter

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Brian Costello, New York Post: Hey Michael, congratulations. What’s your reaction to being drafted by the Jets?

It’s a dream come true. I had a feeling all along I was going to be in New York. Well, really New Jersey, I guess, but I’m just excited to be a Jet.


(follow-up) What gave you that feeling?

Just the appreciation, the interest that they had in me. I feel like it’s just a match made.


DJ Bien-Aime, New York Daily News: Michael, you said during Senior Bowl that you’re more than ready to become a feature back, something you’ve been looking for since you were in high school, because at UNC you always were accompanied by great backs. What do you need to do to become that lead back for the New York Jets?

Well, first I got to get to the building and then just work hard every day, earn respect from my teammates because this is a fraternity. And that’s just what I’ve heard from the guys that are already in the league. And so the first thing I want to do is get in the building and earn the respect by the way I work and not by what I say, but what I do so, that’s my first intention.


Rich Cimini, ESPN: Michael, how would you describe your running style?

Explosive and fun.


(follow-up) What do you mean by fun?

Fun to watch. I like to try to score every time I get the rock, but also knowing situational football. So, I like to have fun when I play football because it’s a game. It’s a fun game. It’s something that could change your life, so I’m just excited really to go run in the NFL, do the same thing.


DJ Bien-Aime, New York Daily News: Michael, the Jets run a wide zone run scheme. How do you think your ability fits into that type of run scheme?

Yeah, I think my change of direction and stop/start ability, I think it complements their system well. I’ve been running a wide zone pretty much since I was born so it’s something that really comes natural to me. And so, like I said, it’s one of them systems where we ran some of that in college and we ran a lot of it in college. And even in high school I did, so even in youth football I did, so I’m very familiar with it. And so, I’m just excited to get in position.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Mike, I read that both of your parents served in the Air Force. What kind of influence were they on you growing up and into your football career?

Yeah, just instilling things like respect and making good decisions. That’s on and off the field so just trying to make the best decision possible at all times. And just having somebody I can go to when things go wrong. My dad is telling me right now that he was first stationed in McGuire (Air Force Base), in New Jersey, so that’s fairly close.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Michael, what were your expectations coming into the draft in terms of where you thought you’d be picked?

I had no expectations. It’s a blessing to be in the NFL, not an obligation, and so I’m just excited to be here.


Rich Cimini, ESPN: Where are you right now, at home?

Yeah, I’m at home. My mom got balloons and all that.


J.P. Pelzman, Forbes: To follow up on that, Michael, was it tough waiting last night? And was it a relief to come off the board so quickly this afternoon?

Definitely. Definitely. I feel like just having confidence in myself that I should have went yesterday, but everything happens for a reason and good things come to those who wait. So, I’m happy to be a Jet.


Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: The Jets had a player from your high school a few years ago. Do you know him? (Jordan) Leggett.

Of course I do.


(follow-up) What’s your relationship like with him?

Yeah. It’s a good, it’s actually, that’s family. So, we’ve got family ties that way. So, he probably just texted me, but I haven’t even checked my phone yet, but he already probably just text me.


Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: What is your blocking skill set? Obviously running backs can’t get on the field they say in the NFL, no matter how talented you are, unless you can protect. What’s your background in that and how do you feel about that area of your game?

Yeah, I feel like, honestly, I feel like it’s a strength of my game. I feel like I’m more than willing to put my nose in there and block, and I’m not scared of anybody. I’m tough. I had a good technique and that’s something that I want to keep getting better at is the technique. So, I’m just excited to prove myself. It’s kind of like starting over. I’m just excited to go out there and prove it all over again.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Michael, what’s your experience like returning kicks and is that something you think you might be able to do in the NFL?

Yeah. Well, I returned kicks all my life and I did in college my last two years. I don’t know what the future has in store, we’ll just have to wait and see, but I’m sure that the Jets have a good plan for me.