Richard Carthon: Working double time

Jordan Figueredo, Print Sports Editor

Kanye West blast in his earphones as he prepares to approach the field. Right before his feet hit the turf or clay, “if you want to do it, then you better go get it” echoes through his head and he is ready to play.

Senior football safety and baseball left fielder Richard Carthon isn’t your average Tulane student athlete. Unlike most athletes, Carthon grabs his next uniform after the season’s final buzzer, when most other athletes hang them up until the next year.

Both sports are incredibly taxing, from the physical contact in football to the intense schedule of baseball, but Carthon never lets it get him down. When people tell the Shreveport, Louisiana native it’s smarter to just pick one sport, or ask if he’s apprehensive about injuries Carthon just shakes it off.

“You can’t play scared,” Carthon said. “My philosophy is if it is meant for me to get hurt, then I am going to get hurt.”

Having been on two collegiate athletic teams, Carthon has played under three head coaches, Rick Jones, Curtis Johnson and David Pierce, during his tenure with the Wave and emphasizes how it has shaped him as a player and person.

“Every coach is different and every coach has different expectations,” Carthon said. “They have a lot of different ways of handling things and you just have to learn how to effectively deal with people. It is not even through an aspect of just the coaches, but it is also with the players and assistant coaches too. The atmosphere is completely different in different environments. It is all about how people conduct themselves.”

Athletics has played a huge role since childhood in Carthon’s life, and he never gave up on his dream of being a dual-sport athlete. He let his idols guide him along the path of success and promised himself he would never quit.

“I read a lot of books about Jackie Robinson and how he got to deal with so much unnecessary foolishness,” Carthon said. “He still balled out and he wore it just so he could be an example and help make the game available for black men. Derek Jeter for me is the man. There is nothing else I can say about him. Growing up I was always quarterback or running back. One of the guys I really liked was Michael Vick; he could run it and sling it. I like Donovan McNabb too.”

Carthon may look up to those athletes, but at Tulane it isn’t uncommon for players aspire to gain the same level of respect as Carthon and be more like him both on and off the field.

“Richard is one of the better athletes on the team,” redshirt senior pitcher Alex Massey said. “He is a very good baseball player and at football as well. He has a great work ethic. He is extremely fast and uses that to his ability. All around he is a great multi-sport athlete.”

On the field, Carthon excels in both sports. For baseball he was selected for the 2015 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament team, made it onto all-academic and all-freshman teams and hopes this success continues into his final baseball season.

For football, Carthon took a redshirt this past season. As a junior, however, he played in 12 games (with a majority of his playing time on special teams), recorded six tackles and tallied a career-high three solo stops against Tulsa.

Carthon has played in 35 football games with 18 tackles as well as returning nine kickoffs for 183 yards. With one season left of baseball, Carthon has started in 151 of 165 games hitting a .264 with 79 runs, 143 hits, 17 doubles, seven triples, two home runs and 50 RBI.

“He is a fourth-year player and he is a leader by example every day,” baseball head coach David Pierce said. “He plays hard and has a lot of respect for his teammates and coaches.”

With one year of eligibility left to play football, Carthon is weighing his options. Apart from the impending baseball draft and the prospect of a further collegiate football career, Carthon was recently accepted into Tulane’s law school. Additionally, he is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity. He has many interests and is determining which path is best for him at this point.

Regardless of the path he follows, Carthon will never forget his time at Tulane.

“I’ll miss the time out here,” Carthon said. “Even though it is a lot of time, but if you think about it, about three-quarters of my life was spent on a field, whether it’s on a baseball field or the football field. That constant back and forth of just grinding, not just getting after on your own but with your boys too.”

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