Duron Carter believes his unique combination of size and smarts will help him be successful at defensive back as a member of the Edmonton Elks.
“I can see offences clearly. One of the things that I held myself on in offences is knowing the playbook, knowing combinations, knowing where guys are supposed to be, knowing where I’m supposed to be to get the ball,” Carter told The Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.
“Being able to see that from the opposite side, I feel like I have an advantage over most players that are on the defensive side. I’m a six-four athlete and I would be scared to go up against myself in a one-on-one situation, so I’m pretty confident in what I could do.”
Carter was named a CFL all-star at receiver with the Montreal Alouettes in 2014 and the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2017. He started practicing at defensive back with the Riders late during the 2017 season and started five games at cornerback the following year, recording 11 tackles and one interception.
“As soon as (head) coach (Chris) Jones gave me the opportunity back in Saskatchewan, it was something that intrigued me and I took very serious. I think it was the opportunity for me to just learn more football. I had never been on the defensive side in my career before then and in just the small taste that I got, I just always wanted more,” said Carter.
The 30-year-old did not play in 2021 as he served as the head coach at North Palm Beach Prep in Port Saint Lucie, Fla. He also ran the team’s defence, which has given him an even greater understanding and appreciation for the defensive side of the game.
Carter revealed that he and Jones discussed the possibility of him signing with the Argos as a defensive back last season, though a contract was never finalized. Now that Jones has complete control over personnel as the head coach and general manager in Edmonton, he was able to get a deal done.
“He sees a lot of himself in me in a personality and what we deal with in the media in the CFL,” said Carter. “I think he respects my football knowledge. He’s always asking me football questions and I try to give him the answer to the best of my ability. One thing I’ll always respect is he doesn’t lie to you. He’s a straight-shooter and that’s not something you really get in the land of football.”
Carter is interested in playing boundary cornerback given that he always played along the boundary as a receiver, but said he would be happy to play wherever Jones wants him. The Elks already have veteran halfbacks Aaron Grymes and Ed Gainey under contract — the latter of whom also played under Jones in Saskatchewan — so it seems likely that Carter will play cornerback.
The six-year CFL veteran would also be happy to take reps as a receiver, though he remains solely focused on developing as a defensive back for now.
“That’s all up to the coaching staff. For me, I’m being signed as a DB so I’m focused on the defensive side. If I’m asked to go play receiver, you know I would love to but I’m not focused on playing both ways. I’m coming in to help the team on defence. If something was to happen and I needed to get on offence then no problem, but I’m focused to be a DB.”