Sept. 18, 2001
Q&A with Carver Donaldson
Senior Carver Donaldson, who missed the first part of spring practice with an MCL sprain to his left knee, is healthy and ready to make the most of his final season as a Seminole. Sports Information student assistant Chad Beattie talked with Donaldson about his FSU career and his aspirations for the future.
You’re on “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” and you have to phone a friend. Who do you call?
I watch that show on occasion. I’d have to say Barry Rotterman. He’s a good, good friend of mine. He’s an attorney and he’s the most knowledgeable person I know.
What is one thing you will remember from practices and your coaches that you will and will not miss once you have left Florida State?
Won’t miss? That’s hard to say because everything they usually say has a purpose. I would have to be out of college and look back and say, I don’t know. I don’t think I could give one particular [bad] thing. The one thing I will remember is that everything you do, you have to be accountable and responsible for.
Was there any mentor for you to follow at your position of tight end?
I think I learned a lot from (former Seminole) Melvin Pearsall as far as footwork and those types of things. He was always real quick with his feet and that’s what I always try to instill in myself.
Your first game was at Virginia. What do you remember about that day?
I remember it was cold up there (laughing). It was the fourth quarter and I hadn’t played all game and I had my big warm up jacket on. And I was just like, “Man, they’re sending me in there,” and all of a sudden I got to catch my first pass. I really wasn’t thinking anything else but to keep warm out there. I wasn’t used to the cold weather, being from Florida. We were running out the clock at that time (laughing again) and that pass was an out of the blue on third down-type thing and it was real exciting. I love to catch the ball.
Speaking of catching the ball, if you could catch a pass from any QB, past, present, pro or college, who would it be?
It would probably be a flag-route from Joe Montana just because I grew up being a huge Joe Montana-Jerry Rice fan, with John Taylor out there. It was just unbelievable what they used to do. I’ll take it on our one-yard line so I could just maybe get a couple yards.
Who is your No. 1 fan?
My mom and my family are my biggest fans.
In 1998 when you were injured, did it upset you a little that you missed so much of the season after such a promising freshman year?
It was a real frustrating year for me but just like all things, you get stronger from the adversity. The triumphs are usually much sweeter after you have a frustrating year like that. I did whatever I could to get myself back.
What do you want to do later in life?
Business is my love and I think that after college, down the road, I’d like to get my business degree/MBA. I’d try to do it in the off-season of the NFL, if possible, and if it’s here that’s great, if not, whatever.
You’re in Tallahassee and you are really hungry. Where do you go?
I’d have to go to the California Chicken Grill. They have this chicken and rice with black beans. Throw some hot sauce and some vinegar sauce on it. Yeah, that’s what I’d get.
When you’re not watching football game tapes, you are usually…?
Reading money magazines like Business Week or Fortune. I like to read about the CPA’s, the investors and those types of things. I’m just trying to advance myself mentally and prepare myself for whatever comes to the next 10 years of my life.
What is your motivational source in playing football?
I started playing at a late age, my junior year of high school, and I know that I could have been so successful up to this point (if he started earlier). I know that every year I get better and better so I want to know how good I can possibly be. I don’t feel there is a limit right now as to how good I could get if I keep on working. Coach Lilly has been a driving force to get me going and doing those types of things.
What are some differences you see coming into the season?
I think this season is going to be more like my freshman season, as far as the tight ends getting the opportunity to go out there and make some plays. The last couple of seasons we’ve had a veteran quarterback who really hasn’t had to have a tight end. We could go four wide-outs and read the defenses to get it to them. Now we have young guys and we’re running the ball first, which includes the tight end a lot more. So that’s kind of exciting for me. Every time you run the ball, the tight end is in the game and I’m just looking for that opportunity.
Who do you try to emulate most on the field?
Tony Gonzalez and Shannon Sharpe. I’m trying to be better than them one day but I don’t know if I can ever get there. I know I have the physical tools. It’s just a matter of how hard I can work the next year of my life.
Anything you’re going to miss after you leave Florida State?
I will miss the guys, being around them, having the fellowship that we’ve had over the last couple of years and the friendships that you build. We’ll still maintain them, but you never have that college experience.