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Jayson Carter: College Football’s Smallest Player Gets His ‘Rudy’ Moment

Jayson Carter is a tiny guy with massive heart, and seeing him make his collegiate debut Saturday at the Owls vs. UTEP game was like watching Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger’s big moment in the sports movie “Rudy.”

Carter is likely the smallest football player in the NCAA. Born with a genetic disorder that slows his growth, he stands at just 4-feet-9 inches tall and weighs only 135 pounds, although he’s 21 years old. But that hasn’t stopped him from practicing as a walk-on with the Rice University football team for three seasons, and on Saturday he got his own big moment.

The Owl’s coach inserted him into the lineup for the very first time on second-and-8 from the UTEP 41 yard line, with about six minutes left in the game. Carter’s first carry was supposed to be an inside zone run. He didn’t find any running room, so he ran to the outside for a 1-yard gain.

Carter received a loud ovation as he walked off the field.

“I did what I was supposed to … I didn’t get negative yards,” he said.

“That young man is here every day busting his tail on the scout team,” Rice coach David Bailiff told the Houston Chronicle. “He deserves it.”

The sophomore’s teammates were more matter-of-fact, however. “They asked my why I didn’t score,” Carter said.

Watch Jayson Carter in action in the video above.

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