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For CU Buffs QB Drew Carter, hoops dreams still alive

Tad Boyle didn’t rule out eventually welcoming freshman to basketball roster

BOULDER, CO - April 2021:  Colorado quarterback Drew Carter during University of Colorado football practice. (University of Colorado Athletics)
BOULDER, CO – April 2021: Colorado quarterback Drew Carter during University of Colorado football practice. (University of Colorado Athletics)
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On Friday, true freshman quarterback Drew Carter may make his live-action debut for the Colorado Buffaloes in the football team’s second scrimmage of the spring.

A two-sport standout in high school, Carter arrived in Boulder having secured a promise from football coach Karl Dorrell as well as men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle there would at least be an opportunity for Carter to try his hand at both sports.

First and foremost, Carter is a football player expected to eventually compete for the starting job at the game’s most important position. But might Carter one day suit up for the Buffs at the CU Events Center? This week, Boyle described the situation as an indefinite maybe.

“That’s something I think we’ll take as we go,” Boyle said. “We know that Drew is on campus. We know that he’s in the middle of spring football right now. That’s a conversation that we’ll have with Drew and the football coaching staff I think probably after spring football.

“It’s always a possibility and it’s something that we talked to him about in recruiting. But he’s here on a football scholarship. We understand that and we respect that. I think that’s something that we’ll kind of work through as we go along as well.”

In addition to the skills that made Carter the 17th-ranked dual-threat quarterback in his class by 247Sports.com, Carter also was a decorated prep basketball player. In his last high school season of 2019-20, the 6-foot-3 Carter earned first team all-state honors in Oregon while averaging 25 points, six rebounds, and three assists per game.

While Boyle certainly didn’t put a timeline on when, or even if, Carter might eventually be a guest star with the basketball program, that window of opportunity isn’t likely to open until the conclusion of the 2021 football season. How Carter fares on the gridiron likely will go a long way toward determining the fate of his hoops dreams, but so might the success of Dorrell’s team in general.

If CU fails to reach a bowl game, Carter conceivably could start practicing with the basketball team early in the regular season. But if CU reaches a bowl game, Carter might not be available until January of 2022, and his basketball window might be narrow before the start of spring football practice.

No CU football players have suited up for the basketball team since Alfred Williams, who appeared in one game, and Ronnie Woolfork (four games) made cameos during the 1989-90 season.

“I’ve not even seen him on the basketball floor yet in person,” Boyle said. “He came to a couple of our games and a practice or two when he first got here. We’ll see. I think that’s a TBA. I’ve met him, but I really haven’t had a chance to sit down and talk to him. We’ll let him get through spring football and we’ll have some conversations at that point.”

Carter arrived at CU in January as an early enrollee and did not take any snaps during the football team’s first spring scrimmage. That is expected to change when the Buffs hold their second spring scrimmage on Friday night.

“Excited about Drew Carter and his development, being a being a mid-year freshman, being here for a short time,” CU quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf said. “We’d like to rep those guys Friday. That’s the plan. We’re trying to get him a couple series. I think he’s doing a good job of getting with Sam (Noyer), getting with the veteran guys and learning through asking questions and talking through plays, kind of in the background. So he’s getting mental reps that way, but we would certainly like to get him into the scrimmage, give him some real work.”