Drafted: Pick 1 of the 1st round by Cincinnati
Positives: Has smooth muscle tone with good upper and lower body development... Displays proper upper body mechanics in his set up...Has a snappy, quick release and the arm strength to get the ball deep...Shows a good, soft touch and the ability to sense pressure in the pocket...Elusive enough to scramble away from defenders to buy more time...Very comfortable in the short-to-medium range passing attack, putting good zip behind his tosses...Really came into his own as a senior, showing the leadership and poise that was missing in the past...Has ideal size, big hands and very good running speed...Shows good pinpoint accuracy and now shows the ability to spot his secondary targets.
Negatives: Lacks a quick arm, as the ball does not explode out of his hands...Does not take command of the huddle the way he should...Plays well in spurts, but until the second half of 2002, he did not show consistency...Can be rattled under pressure...Very streaky thrower who makes poor decisions when he is off his game, eyeing his primary targets too long...Needs to do a better job of reading and reacting to the pass rush...Will spray the ball at times on his long tosses.
The fifth player in school history to win the coveted Heisman Trophy, Carson rewrote the Trojans' record books, setting new career-marks for most total offense yards (11,799, also a Pac-10 Conference record), most plays (1824 Pac-10 record), most passing yards (11,818, Pac-10 record), most passing touchdowns (72), most pass completions (Pac-10 record 927), most pass attempts (Pac-10 record 1569) and most 300-yard passing games (10, including three for over 400 yards)...Also set school and conference career records with at least 2500 yards in total offense in three seasons.
2002 Heisman Trophy winner, adding Johnny Unitas "Golden Arm" Award, CNN/SI Player of the Year, Pac-10 Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year, All-Pac 10 Conference first-team and Football Writers Association, CBS Sportsline, CNN/SI and ESPN All-American first-team honors...Completed 309 of 489 passes (63.2%) for 3942 yards, 33 touchdowns and only ten interceptions in thirteen games, topping the old school season-records of 308 completions of 449 passes for 3630 yards and 29 scores by Rob Johnson in 1993...Scored four times on 50 carries...His 3820 yards in total offense broke the old USC season-record of 3425 by Johnson in 1993...His six 300-yard passing performances set another Trojan record.
Auburn...Completed 23 of 32 passes (71.9%) for 302 yards with a score and also scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard sneak with 1:26 to play to earn Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors...He was 11 of 13 in the second half and completed passes to 8 different receivers in the game.
Colorado...Hit on 22 of 30 passes (73.3%) for 244 yards with a touchdownand also scored on a 1-yard sneak...He hit his first 6 passes in the game and then was 8-of-8 in the second half...His completions went to 7 different receivers.
Kansas State...Completed 18 of 46 passes (8 throws were dropped) for 186 yards and a score while setting USC career records for plays, completions and passing yards.
Oregon State...Connected on 23 of 41 passes for 231 yards with 2 touchdowns while setting the USC career total offense mark.
Washington State...Hit 32 of 50 passes (both career highs and just one completion short of the USC game record) for 381 yards and 2 touchdowns (with an interception), plus he scrambled for a 3-yard score.
California...Was 25 of 39 for 289 yards with 2 scores and 2 interceptions.
Washington...Completed 21 of 34 passes for 348 yards with 4 touchdowns (equaling a then-career best).
Oregon...He had a record-setting performance: setting USC single game marks for passing yardage (448) and total offense (434) while hitting 73.8% (31-of-42) of his throws (he had 1 interception) and his 5 touchdown tosses equaled a USC record...He was 14-of-18 for 216 yards in the first half and then 12-of-14 for 183 yards in the third quarter...For this, he was named National Player of the Week by CNNSI.com, USAToday.com and SportingNews.com, as well as Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week.
Stanford...Threw 4 touchdowns while going 22 of 32 for 317 yards and no interceptions.
Arizona State...Passed for 2 touchdowns (on 20 of 34 passing with no interceptions) and ran for another (2 yards).
UCLA...Became the Pac-10's career leader in passing yards, completions and attempts as he was 19 of 32 for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns with no interceptions (he started off 7-of-7 for 128 yards with 2 scores) and he also had a 22-yard scramble where he somersaulted to the 1-yard line to set up a score...Named Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week.
Notre Dame...Was 32 of 46 passing (one completion shy of the USC game record) for 425 yards and 4 touchdowns, the most yards and TDs ever gained by a Trojan player against the Irish...In the process, he became the Pac-10's career total offense leader and set a Pac-10 season record for passing yards, as well as USC season marks for TD passes and total offense...Also set a USC record with 147 consecutive passes without an interception before being picked off twice.
Iowa (Orange Bowl)...Closed out his career with 21 of 31 passes for 303 yards and a score.
On the Davey O'Brien Award Watch list...Completed 221 of 377 passes (58.6%) for 2717 yards with 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions...Also ran for 34 yards on 88 carries (0.4 avg) with a score...Had a span in 2001 where he threw 87 consecutive passes without an interception before getting picked off at Notre Dame.
San Jose State...Was 21 of 28 for 213 yards (with an interception) and hit his first 9 aerials.
Kansas State...Ran for a team-best and career-high 60 yards on 12 carries (the most rushing yards by a Trojan quarterback since Reggie Perry's 60 versus Memphis State in 1991) and hit 16 of 36 passes for 197 yards.
Oregon...Set the USC single game total offense record with 419 yards and his 411 passing yards were 4 yards shy of another school mark...Completed 25 of 40 aerials, including touchdowns of 93 and 75 yards (the two longest passes of his career), but he was intercepted 3 times and sacked 5 times.
Stanford...Hit on 22 of 42 for 240 yards, but he threw 2 interceptions.
Washington...Was 8 of 14 for 152 yards and 2 scores, including a perfect 7-of-7 for 94 yards and a score in the first half; it was his fewest completions since the 1998 Washington State game and his fewest attempts since the 1999 Oregon game.
Arizona State...Completed 18 of 26 passes for 295 yards and 3 touchdowns and also ran for 28 yards on 8 tries.
Notre Dame...Hit on 19 of 30 throws for 230 yards with 2 scores, but was intercepted twice and sacked 5 times.
Arizona...Was 24 of 49 for 248 yards with 2 touchdowns, but was intercepted twice.
Oregon State...Scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime on a 4-yard naked boot-leg run in which he broke one tackle and dove to the flag while getting slammed by another Beaver...Hit on 21 of 28 for 171 yards and an interception (including 13-of-15 for 80 yards in the first half while connecting on his first 9 aerials) despite getting sacked 6 times.
California...Completed 18 of 35 passes for 230 yards and a score (with no interceptions) and also ran for 45 yards (with a career-long 54-yard scramble) on 8 carries.
Utah (Las Vegas Bowl)...Connected on 15 of 26 passes for 150, but was sacked 4 times for minus 45 yards.
Returned as USC's starting quarterback as a sophomore in 2000 after a shoulder injury knocked him out of the lineup early in 1999...Although he struggled somewhat in 2000, he often exhibited his outstanding potential, as he completed 228 of 415 passes (54.9%) for 2 2914 yards and 16 touchdowns with 18 interceptions (tied a school season record with those pickoffs).
Penn State...In his first game after an 11-month layoff, he was 10 of 20 passing for 87 yards (with an interception).
Colorado...Bounced back from that shaky debut by hitting 25 of 30 passes (83.3%) for 275 yards and a score (3 of his passes were dropped)...On USC's game-winning drive-a 9-play, 72-yard drive that began with 1:14 on the clock and culminated with a game-winning field goal with 13 seconds to play-he was 6-of-6 for 68 yards.
San Jose State...Brought Troy back from a 12-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter by guiding the Trojans to 22 unanswered points (overall, he hit 22-of-38 passes for a then-career-high 338 yards with 2 scores, including 10 of 12 for 148 yards and a TD in the fourth quarter; he had 6 passes dropped.
Oregon State...Hit on 19 of 38 tries for 282 yards and 2 scores, but threw 3 interceptions. Arizona...Was 26-of-50 for 321 yards and a touchdown, but for the second week in a row he threw a career-high 3 interceptions.
California...Completed 19 of 39 tosses for 202 yards and a touchdown, but threw 2 picks and was sacked 7 times.
Arizona State...Connected on 22 of 37 throws for 279 yards with 2 scores (and 2 picks).
UCLA...Threw for 350 yards and 4 touchdowns in a dramatic win while completing 26 of 37 passes (he also gained 31 yards on 5 rushes, including key 35- and 16-yard scrambles, with the 35-yarder being a career long)...For his performance, he was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week and USC's Player of the Game.
Notre Dame...Was 17 of 35 for 251 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 picks and also led USC in rushing with 22 yards (with a score) on 10 attempts (the first time a quarterback led Troy in rushing since Rodney Peete did so vs. Michigan State in the 1988 Rose Bowl).
Coming off an eye-opening 1998 campaign, was off to an impressive beginning while starting USC's first three games (Hawaii, San Diego State and Oregon), but he broke his right collarbone two plays before halftime (scrambling for a 3-yard gain) at Oregon and was sidelined the rest of the season...Because of the early-season injury, he was allowed to redshirt...Overall, he completed 39 of 53 passes (73.6%) for 490 yards with 3 touch-downs and 3 interceptions...Also had 7 carries for 2 yards (0.3 avg.) with a score.
Hawaii...Was a near-perfect 14 of 16 (87.5%) for 167 yards and a 32-yard touchdown and also ran 9 yards for a score on a bootleg in just over 2 quarters of action.
San Diego State...Completed 16 of 24 for 188 yards and 2 scores, but threw a pair of interceptions.
Oregon...Hit on 9 of 13 passes for 135 yards (with a pick) before getting injured.
Just a first-year freshman, Carson showed his precociousness with an impressive showing at quarterback...After sharing playing time with starter Mike Van Raaphorst in USC's first eight games, Palmer took over the starting job vs. Washington to become only the second true freshman to start at quarterback for USC (along with Rob Johnson, who started once in 1991) and continued as the starter vs. Stanford, UCLA, Notre
Dame and TCU in the Sun Bowl...Overall while appearing in all 13 games, he was 130 of 235 (55.3%) for 1755 yards and 7 touchdowns with 6 interceptions...Also carried the ball 47 times for -116 yards (-2.5 avg) with a score.
Sat out two games during his 1997 high school year with a foot sprain...Missed the final eight games of the 1999 season after fracturing his right collarbone vs. Oregon.
Campus Agility Tests
4.65 in the 40-yard dash...385-pound bench press...425-pound squat...275-pound power clean...33-inch vertical jump...8'9" broad jump...32 1/2-inch arm length...10-inch hands... Right-handed...24/34 Wonderlic score.
COMBINE AGILITY TESTS
ARM HAND TEST 40 20 10 225 VJ BJ SHUTTLE CONE
32 3/4 9 1/2 26
Attended Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Cal.) High...Earned 1997 Super Prep National 50, The Sporting News Top 100, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star Dream Team, Prep Star All-American, USA Today All-USA honorable mention, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-Western Region Super 30, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team (unanimous), Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Southern Section first team, All-CIF Division V Offensive Co-MVP, Los Angeles Times All-Orange County first team, Orange County Register All-Orange County first team and All-Seaview League Offensive MVP honors as a senior...In 1997, he completed 136-of-216 passes (63.0%) for 2685 yards, 31 TDs and just 4 interceptions, plus ran for 290 yards and 3 scores...He did all this despite missing 2 earlier-season games with a foot injury...Santa Margarita went 14-0 in 1997 and won its second consecutive CIF Division V championship; in that title game, Palmer threw for a school-record 419 yards with 5 TDs and ran for another TD...Earlier in 1997, he threw for 356 yards in a game and had 5 TD tosses in less than 2 quarters of action in another contest...As a junior in 1996, he made the Cal-Hi Sports Junior All-State second team, All-Seaview League first team and team Offensive MVP while completing 58.0% of his passes for 2089 yards, 25 TDs and 5 interceptions...Santa Margarita went 13-1 in 1996 and was the 1996 CIF Division V champ...In his career, he set 23 school records while going 261-of-435 (60.0%) for 4692 yards and 55 TDs with just 10 interceptions...Also ran for 565 yards (including 150 yards in a game) with 10 scores in his career...Also played basketball (averaged 8.0 points and 8.0 rebounds as a 1998 senior) and was named to the 1998 Student Sports Grid-Hoops All-American second team...Santa Margarita went 32-2 in 1998 and won the 1998 CIF and State Division II titles.
Public Policy and Management major...As part of the "Read Across America" program, he read books to local elementary school classes in 1999, 2000 and 2001...His personal quarterback coach was Bob Johnson, the father of ex-USC (1991-94) and NFL signal-caller Rob Johnson...Brother, Jordan, was a freshman quarterback at Texas-El Paso in 2002... Born 12/27/79...Resides in Laguna Niguel, California.
YEAR ATT COMP PCT YARDS TD YD/ATT YD/CMP INT I/PCT LG GM/AVG