Back in the 1970s and 80s, Michigan football under head coach Bo Schembechler was known for its smash mouth style of football. No gimmicks. No tricks. Just power and intensity.
In an era of Michigan football where things were not very flashy, there was one player in particular that defied that narrative, and then some.
Wide receiver Anthony Carter was one of the standout players of the Schembechler era at Michigan. He played for the university from 1979 to 1982. At 5-11, 180 pounds, Carter was far from a big receiver target, but he used his speed to make plays and was a nice contrast as a weapon in Michigan's pro-style offense.
He did not make a huge splash during his freshman season, only having 17 catches all year, but seven of those were for touchdowns and he averaged about 27 yards per reception.
While his freshman season may have not held as much of an impact as Carter had liked, the play he was involved in below will go down as one of the most iconic moments in Michigan football history.
In the final minute of Michigan's 1979 homecoming game against Indiana, Lee Corso's Hoosiers were able to the the game and it looked like they would be able to pull out a draw. With next to no time left on the clock, quarterback John Wangler threw a Hail Mary pass to Carter, who made a one-step cutback to his left to avoid a tackler and get into the end zone, sealing off the victory for the Wolverines.
Wangler maintains that radio broadcaster Bob Ufer's call of the play was better than the play itself, he told the Ann Arbor News.
"Oh my God - Carter's in the end zone...Look at the crowd! You cannot believe it! Michigan throws a 45-yard touchdown pass," Ufer exclaimed. "Johnny Wangler to Anthony Carter will be heard until another 100 years of Michigan football is played!"
Carter etched his name into stone as one of the Michigan greats with that play, but he did much more for the program in his career than just the Homecoming game in 1979.
He became U-M's top target at the position during his sophomore season and throughout the rest of his time in Ann Arbor. Carter is Michigan's all-time leading receiver, with 161 receptions for 3,042 yards and 37 touchdowns. He lists second all-time at Michigan in career all-purpose yardage with 305 attempts for 5,799 yards.
He was three-time All-American, he was named Big Ten Conference MVP his senior season, and finished fourth in voting for the Heisman Trophy.
Carter redefined the wide receiver position for the Wolverines in the 1980s. He is one of the first great skill players of the modern era of Michigan football and he also donned the famed No. 1 jersey.
When people bring up the all-time greats of Michigan football, Carter is a name that tends to slip through the cracks at times, but there is no denying the impact he had on the program and what he was able to accomplish on the field in Ann Arbor.
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