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USC football running back Stephen Carr impressed Senior Bowl official in 2019

Aug 14, 2020, 3:13 AM PDT
USC football running back Stephen Carr. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
USC football running back Stephen Carr. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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USC football running back Stephen Carr was praised by the Senior Bowl’s Jim Nagy.

USC football running back Stephen Carr may not get to play his senior season this fall, but at least he knows he would have been closely watched by the Senior Bowl in 2020.

On Thursday, Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy singled out Carr for praise as an intriguing 2021 draft prospect.

Sure, the timing could have been better, not days after the Pac-12 canceled the football season.

Still, the observation shows Carr’s NFL value hasn’t dried up just yet.

Stephen Carr has the tools, he just needed more time with USC football.

“Stephen Carr is one Pac-12 player [the Senior Bowl] was hoping to see more of in 2020,” Nagy wrote on Twitter. “Carr’s workload was limited in crowded USC backfield but he is one of most creative runners and natural pass-catching RB in ‘21 draft. Dangerous in space.”

Another Twitter user pointed out how a back injury seemed to limit his performance in recent years.

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Indeed, Carr’s output since his debut in 2017 has been somewhat disappointing. As a true freshman, he averaged 5.6 yards per carry and 11.1 yards per catch while picking up an All-Pac-12 honorable mention. He looked every bit the five-star prospect from his recruiting days. A sprained ankle in the second half of the season heralded the difficult seasons to come.

In 2018, after undergoing offseason back surgery, Carr’s average dipped to 4.7 yards per carry in just nine games of action. Another ankle injury ended his season.

The 2019 season was a slight bounce back. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry, but couldn’t get over the 400-yard threshold. Once more, a hamstring injury limited him for a series of games.

However, Nagy replied that his assessment of the running back was not from his freshman season. He impressed even in 2019.

“He looked pretty darn good on ’19 tape we saw so I’d like to see him before this back injury,” Nagy said.

Carr could certainly point to some strong moments last year. He scored from 14 yards out against Fresno State and on a 25-yard carry against Stanford. Against Washington, he ripped off a 60-yard run. During the UCLA game, he produced 87 yards on just 11 carries while adding a 21-yard reception.

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The cancelation of the Pac-12’s fall season is a clear setback for Carr, along with many other USC draft prospects who could have used another campaign to impress NFL scouts.

Like the rest, Carr will have to weigh playing in the spring against prepping full time for the NFL Draft.

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