In the 1980s, wide receiver Cris Carter emerged as one of the greatest receivers in Ohio State history, setting records and still ranking among the most prolific Buckeyes ever.
But despite being born and raised in Ohio, there was a time where Michigan was very much on Carter’s radar. Appearing on the Rich Eisen Show this week, Carter said that he felt a little disrespected by the late-great Bo Schembechler during his recruiting meeting and rejected Michigan as a result.
“Of course when you grow up in the Midwest, you’ve got a lot of respect for Michigan,” Carter said. “On my visit there, Bo Schembechler throws me the No. 1 jersey, in high school I wore No. 1, and then he said, ‘last year a kid wanted it and I told him no, you couldn’t have it because a kid from Ohio was coming next year and he was going to wear No. 1.’ I was a little insulted that he thought I would be coming to Michigan, because to that point, I was going to play basketball.
“I had more interest in the Michigan basketball program than I did the football program. So, of course, I decide to go to Ohio State and I decided to play both basketball and football. After being Rose Bowl MVP my freshman year, we decided we’re going to concentrate on football.”
The rest is history: Carter went on to earn All-American honors while leading the Buckeyes to the Citrus Bowl and Cotton Bowl during his three years with the team.
Schembechler did alright without Carter though, beating the Buckeyes twice during Carter’s three years at Ohio State.
Would the Wolverines have won a national title if Schembechler had recruited Carter to Ohio State?