High School Sports

Carl Carter, who starred at FW Wyatt, Texas Tech and in the NFL, dies at 55

Carl Carter’s NFL playing card with the Tampa Bay Bucs
Carl Carter’s NFL playing card with the Tampa Bay Bucs

Former Fort Worth Wyatt standout Carl Carter, who played seven seasons in the NFL, died on May 15 at the age of 55.

Carter graduated from Wyatt in 1982 before playing three years at Texas Tech.

While in Lubbock, Carter, who played defensive back, made nine interceptions in 33 games.

“When I heard the news, I was in total shock. Carl was a nice, mild-manner guy,” Sam Houston head coach Anthony Criss said. “We grew up in the same neighborhood just around the block.”

“I didn’t believe it at first,” added Wyatt head coach Zachary Criss, who was in Carter’s class. “Our childhood neighborhood is very close so immediately we called each other up, talked, went to his mother’s house so I was in shock.”

Carter entered the 1986 NFL Draft and was selected in the fourth round, 89th overall, by the St. Louis Cardinals where he played for four seasons. He also had stints with the Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers, and finished with eight career interceptions. He had a career high three picks during the 1988 season when he played in all 16 games for the Cardinals. He also played special teams.

“Carl made his mark in the NFL because of his speed. He was real fast. He ran track at Wyatt and Tech, but it was like he got fast overnight. We’d race in the streets growing up and always beat Carl. All of sudden, we see him going to state so it’s like he got fast out of nowhere,” Anthony said. “He made it to the NFL and we were all watching back in the neighborhood because he was one of our own. But he’d come back home and sit on the curb and talk to us like he was just a regular guy.”

Carter returned home where he was the special teams coordinator for Anthony at Wyatt in 1998 and 1999.

“He asked me if I wanted any special teams stuff from the Cardinals’ playbook and I said ‘better yet, why don’t you do it.’ He was hired on and it was amazing,” Anthony said. “All the special teams plays I learned even to this day is from the two years with Carl.”

“Carl was always laid back and someone that was focused and took care of business. Even those years he came to coach with us, he was very instrumental to our success,” added Zachary, who was Wyatt’s offensive coordinator. “He had that NFL experience, but Carl never brought that up. He would just make relationships with our kids and got them to believe in what we were doing. He was a very upstanding guy.”

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.