Sept. 10, 2002
Safety Greg Carothers was forced to grow up fast as a true freshman in 2000, replacing the injured Curtis Williams in Washington's emotional comeback win over Stanford. Since that day, the Helena, Mont., native has made 17 consecutive starts at strong safety, and was the team's second-leading tackler in 2001. The departure to the NFL over the past two seasons of veterans Hakim Akbar and Omare Lowe has left Carothers the leader of a young secondary comprised of three juniors and one sophomore. Known for his crushing hits -- fans will surely remember Carothers separating Purdue tailback Montrell Lowe from his helmet in the Huskies' 2001 Rose Bowl win -- Carothers recently sat down with GoHuskies.com to talk about a college football player's life on and off the field.
GoHuskies.com: You're from Montana. Do you ever get a lot of guff or
hick jokes on the team because of that?
Greg Carothers: "All the time. Everyone jokes. It doesn't help that [secondary coach] Bobby Hauck is from Montana, too. Because of that, the coaching staff thinks they're funny as well."
GH: Do you ever let that get to you?
Carothers: "No, it's alright, I can take it. I think that if they went to Montana to visit, they'd find out that they can have more there than we have here."
GH: You play safety now, but did you ever play offense in high
school? Which side of the ball do you prefer?
Carothers: "I played offense in high school, but I'm defense -- definitely defense. I think I just have more of a defensive mentality, from the person I am, to the way I play, to the people I hang out with and the type of things I do. I'd rather hit people than get hit."
GH: I notice you have a couple of tattoos. Which is your
Carothers: "I have a bull on my leg with my Grandpa's initials on it. My grandpa passed away when I was in eighth grade, so that's probably the most important to me."
GH: You're a pretty big guy with tattoos and a beard -- do you ever
scare little children when you're at the mall?
Carothers: "(laughs) I hope not. I smile a lot, I don't think I'm a scary person."
GH: When you're on the field in front of all the fans, and the
HuskyTron camera is on you, do you ever just want to turn around and wave at
Carothers: "I have to admit that when I make a play, I do watch it sometimes if we have a little extra time in the huddle. I think everybody does."
GH: Who's the most impressive player you've seen or played with?
Carothers: "The most impressive players I've played with are former Huskies Derrell Daniels and Curtis Williams. Curt is the most impressive player I've ever been around in a football sense -- some of the things he did, the way he lifted weights. He wasn't the hardest lifter or the strongest guy, but he was easily the best player I've ever played with."
GH: What was the best class you've taken at UW?
Carothers: "The best class I've taken was American Indian Studies. I took that this summer and the teacher was really cool."
GH: Before the interview I was going to go talk to Coach Neuheisel
about taking some reps out there on defense. I'm about 5-foot-6 and 140
pounds. Think I've got a shot?
Carothers: "I think you can. We've got Owen Biddle, and he's not that much bigger than you."
contributing to gohuskies.com Steve Hitchcock