After spending four years with the Alabama Crimson Tide, defensive back Shyheim Carter is ready for the next chapter of his football career.
The Crimson Tide are always known for producing talent in the secondary. Over the years, we’ve seen Minkah Fitzpatrick, Marlon Humphrey, Eddie Jackson and many others get drafted. It appears Carter is the next Alabama defensive back in line.
Carter registered 43 total tackles, a forced fumble and one interception. He finished his final game as a member of the Crimson Tide with a crucial interception against the Michigan Wolverines in the Citrus Bowl.
We sat down with Carter to discuss his time in Tuscaloosa, relationship with Nick Saban and path to the NFL Draft. Let’s get this interview started.
The Spun: How are you preparing for the draft during this time?
Shyheim Carter: I’m just trying to stay in shape as much as I could. Like you said, with everything closed it limits our workouts and things. So, I’m just trying to stay in football shape so I’m ready to go when I get the call from a team.
— NXTTRAINING (@NXTTraining7) April 4, 2020
The Spun: Do you feel like your Pro Day getting canceled hurts your stock, or are you OK with your position at this moment?
SC: To be honest, I’m just blessed to be in this position – whether I hear my name called during the NFL Draft or not. I can’t thank God enough for putting me in this position.
The Spun: What position do you want to play at the next level, cornerback or safety?
SC: Obviously I’ll play wherever a team needs me, but I do prefer playing cornerback.
— PewterReport (@PewterReport) January 13, 2020
The Spun: Nick Saban has praised your work ethic and ability to adjust to different positions. How does it feel to know you have his support?
SC: It’s just amazing to have Coach Saban say things like that about me. I had all my trust in him coming out of high school, that’s one of the reasons I went to Alabama because I trusted him enough to turn him into the best player and person I can be. With that type of trust he has in me, it speaks volumes.
The Spun: Alabama is loaded with talent on both sides of the football, especially at wide receiver. Who was the hardest to cover at practice?
SC: They’re all hard to cover and they brought out the best out of me in practice. It’s hard to single one because they all bring something different to the table.
The Spun: Do you have a Nick Saban memory you’ll always remember?
SC: I can’t think of all them right now, but I remember when he cracked on me during my freshman year at fall camp. I didn’t go reroute the guy when we were playing Cover 2 in practice. During meetings, he called me out and all the older guys on the team were laughing – at that time we had Eddie Jackson and Marlon Humphrey. They were laughing while I was embarrassed because Coach Saban cussed me out in front of all the defensive backs. I was just sitting there like “Wow, this is real.”
First, I want to take a moment to thank God and my family, because none of this blessed life would be possible without them. It's been an honor to play for the University of Alabama, and I am so thankful to the coaching staff, my teammates, teachers, friends and the fans.
— Shyheim Carter (@Christmas__5) January 4, 2020
The Spun: How do you think Alabama will fare with Mac Jones at quarterback?
SC: I think they’ll be in good hands. Mac is a great quarterback. He got a scholarship to Alabama, so that should speak for itself. When he came in as a freshman and sophomore, he was on the scout team and he was killing our first-team defense. So, I think Alabama should be in good hands under Mac.
The Spun: Which NFL player do you look up to the most and try to model your game after?
SC: The player I look up to the most is probably Tyrann Mathieu. We got pretty much the same physical attributes, we’re not very tall or long. He played every position in the secondary for LSU just like I did for Alabama. I looked up to other players to, guys like Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson. Tyrann Mathieu is definitely the one for me though because his physical attributes are like mine.
The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Shyheim Carter?
SC: They’re definitely getting a hardworking guy, a leader and someone that is going to do right on and off the field.
Let me tell you that I’m a different breed had my first baby at 16, no plan B I had one dream! pic.twitter.com/FxQBwblT9V
— Shyheim Carter (@Christmas__5) February 28, 2020
Defensive coaches should have fun utilizing Carter in different roles. He can play as a traditional safety, but he could also line up in the slot and cover wideouts.
Saban praised Carter for his football IQ, saying “I think that’s what creates a lot of diversity for him as a player, to be able to play multiple positions because he’s very smart and it means something to him.”
Carter’s versatility should go a long way in the NFL. Alabama fans will find out where his professional career will begin next week.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.