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30 Greatest Tigers of the Decade: #17 Xavier Carter

#17 Xavier Carter
#17 Xavier Carter


Xavier Carter was really fast.  He was so fast, that he only hung around LSU for two years before deciding to turn pro.  In fact, the only thing keeping him out of the top ten is his all-too-brief career.  But what a career it was.

First, let's get the football stuff out of the way.  Carter was on the football team for all of one season and caught five balls for two touchdowns.  He also broke his clavicle, which was a big warning that perhaps this football thing is a bit too dangerous.  So, from that point on, he decided to focus on track which, let's face it, was a pretty good decision.

He won his first national title in his freshman year, anchoring the 4x400 team that broke three minutes in NCAA competition for the first time since 1988.  He finished second overall in his specialty event, the 200.  He was named SEC Freshman Runner of the Year in 2005.  But then his sophomore year happened.

Holy crap. 

Xavier Carter turned in perhaps the greatest season in LSU's rather illustrious track history in 2006.  He anchored two undefeated relay teams in the 4x100 and 4x400.  He won the 200 and 400 SEC titles, the first time anyone accomplished this since 1970.  He then went on to the NCAA Championships, where he won four events (100, 200, 4x100, and 4x400) becoming the first athlete to win four events since Jesse Owens in 1936.  Let's stress that, the first since Jesse Owens.  Winning the NCAA Track Athlete of the Year was sort of a formality at that point.  If you draw a comparison to Jesse Owens, chances are, you're really good.

And just like that, he was gone.  He was too fast to stay in one place for too long.