Adams and Carr: Return of the dynamic duo

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr (4) directs the offense during the Bulldogs’ 69-28 win over New Mexico Saturday at Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs will represent the West Division in the Mountain West’s inaugural championship game on Dec. 7, 2013. Roe Borunda / The Collegian

Fresno State has had success producing professional athletes. Most well-known, however, are Derek Carr and Davante Adams, who were a tantalizing wide receiver and quarterback duo at Fresno State from 2012-2013. 

Ten years later, the duo reunited with the Las Vegas Raiders in the NFL. 

It was a long road before they were able to team up again. Carr was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the 2014 NFL draft with their 4th pick of the second round. Adams was subsequently taken by the Green Bay Packers 16 picks later. 

Even though they were not on the same team, it did not stop either of them from having success at the professional level. Carr has been the starting quarterback of the Raiders since 2014. He has led them to multiple playoff appearances and has been selected to three pro bowls. 

Meanwhile, Davante has built a reputation as one of the league’s most prolific receivers and route runners. He has put together three seasons of 1300 or more yards and has been selected to two All-Pro teams. On top of that, he has made five pro bowls.

Both of these players have had much success in their professional careers, but getting to where they are today does not just appear out of thin air. 

“I’ve never had an ‘I’ve arrived’ moment. I don’t like that word, ‘arrived.’ If you say you’ve arrived, then you’ve achieved your dream. You’ve done all you can. ‘I’m the guy now.’ I don’t like that,” Adams said.

Pushing through the mental walls and adversity has shaped the player Adams is today. Once he made the league, it was not time to stop. It only meant that it was just the start.

Carr was also faced with extreme adversity, especially in college where he was forced to manage a multitude of responsibilities. 

Senior Associate Athletics Director at Fresno State Frank Pucher told a story about Carr’s child being born during the football season.

“He had a baby and the baby had to have some very serious treatments, Derek was dealing with that while an active member of the team. Going from practices to check on his son and family [and] all the mental strain and emotional strain that that probably put on him, but yet still being able to play quarterback of all positions at a high level, I think just speaks to his fortitude,” Pucher said.

Carr attested to the strain people face in life at a recent press conference.

 “At the end of the day, nobody cares, what you are going through, how your body feels. Nobody cares. We [have] got to do our job,” he said. “Life is tough sometimes but you have to hold true to what you believe, hold true to who you are and be that person, whether it is easy or its not.”  

Carr pushed through the hardships with his child with that mentality as he led the Bulldogs to an 11-2 season where he threw for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns with Adams at his side. 

Their journeys have not been easy, and together they finished their college careers as prominent figures in Fresno State football’s history. 

Carr’s number is retired at Valley Children’s Hospital Stadium. As for Adams, his number will be retired this year when the Bulldogs host San Jose State on Oct. 15.

The duo is set to enter week four of the NFL season. One of those games included a game where Carr connected with Adams for 10 catches, 141 yards, and a touchdown. The duo’s chemistry continues in their professional careers, even after only playing for three  weeks together.

Their next game will be a home game against the Denver Broncos on Oct. 2.

Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams (15) and the Bulldogs emphasized ball security during this week’s practices. The Bulldogs turned the ball over three times in their 42-37 win over Hawaii due to forced fumbles in 2013. Roe Borunda / The Collegian
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