Will Derek Carr and Davante Adams rekindle their prolific Fresno State connection nearly a decade later? (2022)

Derek Carr ran over excitedly when he saw Davante Adams in a Las Vegas Raiders jersey for the first time this spring and hugged his new-but-also-old receiver in a warm embrace.

“It’s good to see you in that Silver and Black,” Carr said.

“Oh yeah, this is your first time, huh?” Adams smiled back. “The jersey, it really hit me today.”

That moment was more than a decade in the making.

After spending two years together at Fresno State from 2012-2013, the two parted ways when they were taken by different teams in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft — Carr by the Raiders at No. 36 and Adams by the Green Bay Packers at No. 53. Ever since, they remained close friends but also privately longed for a reunion on an NFL team. They exchanged messages, trained together during the offseason and were even neighbors in Danville, California for years before the Raiders moved to Las Vegas in 2020.

What was once only a fleeting idea finally became reality this offseason when the Raiders traded a first- and a second-round pick to the Packers for Adams. The two burst into laughter when they FaceTimed each other for the first time after the trade, Carr said, calling it “a blessing” to play with “one of my best friends in the whole world.” Adams, meanwhile, said the trade was “a dream come true” in his introductory news conference.

The two set the college football world on fire during their time together in Fresno. Not only did the Bulldogs go 20-6 over that stretch, but Carr led the nation in completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns in 2013 while Adams led the nation in receptions and receiving touchdowns, and was second in receiving yards.

Now together in Las Vegas, Carr and Adams hope to recapture the fire they harnessed during their time in college — this time in professional football.

“We've had success together, but that was at the college level, completely different,” Carr said in April. “But we do have confidence that we can do it at this level, too.”

Will Derek Carr and Davante Adams rekindle their prolific Fresno State connection nearly a decade later? (1)

On-field connections and off-field bonding

When Carr and Adams practiced together for the first time as Raiders teammates, Carr told his brothers throwing with Adams was “like a riding a bike.”

But that chemistry took years to develop.

Although Carr waited a year to play with Adams after the wideout redshirted his freshman season, Adams still asked Carr to throw him passes after practice in 2011. Carr noticed Adams’ raw physicality and jump-ball ability to bring down hard-to-catch passes almost instantly, and those early sessions were the beginning of their relationship on the field and proved to be the catalyst for their eventual friendship off it.

“It kind of just happened organically,” former Fresno State receivers coach Keith Williams told Yahoo Sports. “There wasn't like one incident where they just became best friends, but they got to know each other through the process of being on a team and through the close communication and close contact and being quarterback and wideout.”

It helped, too, that the two bonded over similar interests. First it was simply their desire to reach the NFL and become forces in college football. They also both felt they had more to prove while playing at a small-profile school like Fresno State in the lesser-known Mountain West Conference.

That magnetism sparked the connection, but Adams and Carr were more similar than they originally realized.

They both loved basketball — Adams’ athleticism was widely recognized among the Fresno football community and teammates say Carr always believed he was one of the best basketball players on the team. The two golfed a lot together and debated the best cars and music as well, usually during Wednesday lunches at their favorite Japanese joint, Teriyaki Don, about a 10-minute drive from campus.

Fresno State teammates would joke that Adams only hung out with Carr because he was the quarterback and would target him often because they spent so much time together. But through the ribbing, they all knew that wasn’t actually true.

“It was real. It was actually a genuine friendship between them two,” former teammate Isaiah Burse said. “It's not just, ‘oh, teammate.’ This is really a life-long friendship.”

Their connection spilled onto the field immediately. Adams scored on a 27-yard pass from Carr just nine plays into Fresno State’s first game of the 2012 season against Weber State, and went on to finish with seven receptions for 118 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a 37-10 win. Adams and Carr connected on 102 receptions for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns by the end of that season.

Will Derek Carr and Davante Adams rekindle their prolific Fresno State connection nearly a decade later? (2)

A lot of that success derived from an offense designed to give Carr unilateral authority at the line of scrimmage. He signaled plays to his receivers with hand motions — like a maestro conducting an orchestra or a baseball coach instructing his batters at the plate — to make in-game adjustments and exploit coverage weaknesses by their opponents. Adams and Carr got so good at it that all Carr needed to do was look at Adams a certain way for him to understand what he wanted him to do. Almost like twin telepathy.

To this day, their teammates can’t explain how they did it.

“It’s crazy. It's hard to explain,” said former Fresno State wideout Josh Harper. “He'll give you, like, a certain look and you know what he's expecting, you know, like you just know what's coming from him and vice versa. Like he knows what to expect.”

This was never more prevalent than in the Bulldogs’ 69-28 drubbing of New Mexico in 2013.

On a first-and-10 play at the New Mexico 45-yard line early in the second quarter, Carr noticed Adams had a lot of space in front of him on the left side of the field. So he cocked his head for a split second in Adams’ direction before snapping the ball and immediately firing a laser to his trusty wideout on a smoke route. Adams caught it at the line of scrimmage and made two quick moves before scampering for the 44-yard score.

That wasn’t a one-off moment for the pair. It happened frequently throughout their tenure together.

Former NFL cornerback BeneBenwikere saw it first-hand when he played for San Jose State against Fresno State in 2013. The tandem torched the Spartans' defense early and Adams himself tallied eight receptions for 157 yards and four touchdowns in the first half. Though Benwikere missed most of the first half with an illness, he was in awe of the spectacle Carr and Adams put on that day.

“They were just so much in sync more than any other team that I really ever played against in college,” Benwikere told Yahoo Sports. “Besides [Tom] Brady and the [New England] Patriots, I don't think I really saw an offense [in the NFL] that was that well-tuned.”

College QB-WR pairs becoming more frequent

Pairing a quarterback with his collegiate counterpart is a relatively new phenomenon in the NFL.

Prior to this season, there were only eight such instances in NFL history. But in 2022, there will be five combinations in the league: Adams and Carr, Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Burrow (LSU) with the Cincinnati Bengals, Jaylen Waddle and Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) with the Miami Dolphins, DeVonta Smith and Jalen Hurts (Alabama) with the Philadelphia Eagles and Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown (Oklahoma) with the Arizona Cardinals.

Of that group, Carr and Adams had the most receptions (233), receiving yards (3,031) and touchdowns (38) together in college. The next closest is Burrow and Chase, who finished with 107 receptions for 2,093 yards and 23 touchdowns at LSU from 2018-2019.

That’s a recipe for success in Las Vegas. And former Raiders and Packers wideout James Jones, who trained with Carr and Adams before their NFL careers and also played with them both separately on the Raiders and Packers, believes the connection between these two will be better than the one Adams had with Rodgers.

“A lot of people looking at it like 'Man, [Adams] left Aaron Rodgers and went to Derek Carr? What is he thinking?” Jones told Yahoo sports. “He's not thinking like that. He's thinking 'This is my dog. I have an opportunity to go play with my dog. I have the opportunity to play with my best friend,’ which you rarely get the opportunity to do, especially at the highest level. This is going to hit off right where they left off in college.”

Carr and Adams certainly have the chance to become one of the better quarterback-receiver tandems in the NFL if they can repeat what they did in college. But when asked how the Carr-Adams duo would be remembered among the greats on NFL history, Carr offered a simple three-letter answer:

“TBD.”

FAQs

Are Davante Adams and Derek Carr friends? ›

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Derek Carr are best friends whose relationship goes back to their tie in college together at Fresno State. In addition to having a QB/WR bond on the football field, Adams and Carr have a bond off the field as well.

Did Davante Adams and Derek Carr play together at Fresno State? ›

After spending two years together at Fresno State from 2012-2013, the two parted ways when they were taken by different teams in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft — Carr by the Raiders at No. 36 and Adams by the Green Bay Packers at No.

Did Davante Adams and Derek Carr play together in college? ›

Before reuniting with the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason, Davante Adams and Derek Carr were together at Fresno State in college. As Adams revealed in a feature story from ESPN's Tim Keown, the duo "almost died together" before making the NFL.

Did Davante Adams attend Fresno State? ›

Nine years after playing his last game at Frenso State, Davante Adams will have his jersey retired, the university announced Thursday. The distinction is rightfully deserved by Adams, who compiled 3,031 receiving yards, 233 catches and 38 touchdowns in his two seasons as a Bulldog.

Does Davante Adams want to play with Derek Carr? ›

The All-Pro receiver confirmed last month he wanted to reunite with his best friend, Derek Carr, and move closer to his native California.

What did Davante Adams say about Aaron Rodgers? ›

"He's the best quarterback, in my opinion, to play this game," Adams said of his former teammate. "He had the Michael Jordan effect. ... (He's) gonna make you play better ... just by being on the field." Traded to the Raiders this offseason after eight years as Rodgers' No.

What is Fresno State's mascot? ›

Bulldog III. The official live mascot of Fresno State, spreading smiles and Bulldog Spirit all over the Valley!

When was Derek Carr at Fresno? ›

Derek Carr
No. 4 – Las Vegas Raiders
College:Fresno State (2009–2013)
NFL Draft:2014 / Round: 2 / Pick: 36
Career history
Oakland / Las Vegas Raiders (2014–present)
18 more rows

What number was Davante Adams in college? ›

Davante Adams
No. 17 – Las Vegas Raiders
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Palo Alto (Palo Alto, California)
College:Fresno State (2011–2013)
18 more rows

Who are the running backs for the Raiders? ›

Las Vegas Raiders

Who did Davante Adams play with in college? ›

Davante Adams

Is Davante Adams a good fantasy pick? ›

One of the best wide receivers in the NFL and fantasy football, Las Vegas Raiders WR Davante Adams projects to be an early pick once again as his 2022 fantasy outlook rivals the top players in the game.

What helmet does Davante Adams wear? ›

Davante Adams wears one of Schutt's lightest helmets, the Schutt Air XP Q11. The Air XP Q11 weighs in at only 4.1 pounds and scores a perfect 5/5 on the Virginia Tech Helmet Rating scale.

Does Davante Adams like Aaron Rodgers? ›

Raiders wideout Davante Adams continues to praise his former Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, after the dynamic duo split this offseason. “It was amazing man,” Adams said of his time playing with Rodgers during an appearance on “The Pivot” podcast.

Did Davante Adams buy a home in Vegas? ›

According to one Las Vegas news source, specifically Vital Vegas, Adams has recently purchased a $12 million mansion located in The Ridges, which is a neighborhood located in Las Vegas.

Is Davante Adams going to the Raiders? ›

Davante Adams is now a member of the Raiders, as Las Vegas sent its first- and second-round picks to Green Bay to acquire arguably the best receiver in football.

Will Aaron Rodgers go to the Hall of Fame? ›

Active NFL players who are Hall of Fame LOCKS: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Donald top the list. On Saturday, starting at noon ET on NFL Network, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will officially enshrine the eight members of the Class of 2022: Tony Boselli, offensive tackle.

Who were the quarterbacks for Green Bay? ›

Green Bay Packers

Where is davante Adams? ›

What is the V on Fresno State helmets? ›

Fresno State Bulldogs

HC Pat Hill introduced the green and red V on the back of the helmet in 1997. The "V" symbolizes Fresno State's pride in representing the San Joaquin Valley and the color green was selected to honor the importance of the agriculture industry to the region.

Has Fresno State ever won a national championship in football? ›

In addition to Fresno State's 1998 NCAA championship, the Bulldogs have reached the NCAA championship game four other times (1984, 1988, 1989, 1990), and the College World Series 12 times. The Bulldogs are coached by Margie Wright, the nation's winningest Division I coach in the sport.

What kind of dog is the Fresno State Bulldog? ›

Back in 1921, a white bulldog consistently appeared each day on the campus of California State University in Fresno (more commonly known as Fresno State) and took a shine to the student body president, Warren Moody and his friends.

How rich is Derek Carr? ›

Derek Carr Net Worth
Net Worth:$80 Million
Date of Birth:Mar 28, 1991 (31 years old)
Place of Birth:Fresno, California

Does the Raiders QB wear eyeliner? ›

His eyes will certainly get their own press conference if the Raiders reach the Super Bowl. So no, Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr does not wear eyeliner. He just happens to have the darkest eyelashes known to man.

What did the Packers get for Davante Adams? ›

– All the blanks of the Green Bay Packers' trade of Davante Adams have been filled in. In March, the Packers sent their All-Pro receiver to the Las Vegas Raiders for a pair of draft picks, No. 22 of the first round and No. 53 of the second round.

What is Davante Adams favorite team? ›

I was a Raiders fan my whole life, so it is a dream to be a Raider, man," Adams said. "It's a dream come true. In the third-grade yearbook, I said I want to be an NFL star or an NBA star, and I was wearing a Charles Woodson jersey at the time. It's been documented forever, so I guess you could say it's meant to be."

Why did Davante Adams leave the Packers? ›

He loved Green Bay and playing with Rodgers, and the money was there with the Packers, but he wasn't willing to give up moving closer to home, getting his family to the West Coast and playing with Carr for the potential of one or maybe two more years of playing with Rodgers.

Why is Davante Adams good? ›

Adams was one of the two best wide receivers in fantasy football, behind only Kupp. He put up 123 catches on 169 targets with 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns. That was good enough to produce 344.3 fantasy points, the second-most points he has ever scored in a single season.

What is the tattoo on Derek Carr's wrist? ›

On his Carr's right wrist, the symbol is called a Chi Rho, a christogram involving the two Greek letters that help form the Greek word "Christos" superimposed on each other. The use of the symbol dates back to Roman Emperor Constantine, who used it as a military standard (or emblem).

How good is Derek Carr? ›

After a strong 2020 year for Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, posting his second-highest PFF grade of 84.7, he came back down in 2021 to an overall grade of 76.3.

Where is Marcus Mariota? ›

Mariota signed with the Las Vegas Raiders the following season and backed up Derek Carr before signing with the Falcons in 2022.

Is Josh Jacobs a RB1? ›

Historically, I can see why someone wouldn't want to give up on Josh Jacobs. He's finished as an RB1 two out of his three years in the league, and the Raiders just released Kenyan Drake.

Who is the Raiders number 1 running back? ›

Jacobs, Josh

How much can Davante Adams bench? ›

Percentiles vs. Wide Receivers
MeasurableMeasurement%tile
Broad Jump123"65
3-Cone Drill6.82s74
20 Yard Shuttle4.3s33
Bench Press14 reps46
7 more rows

What draft pick was Cooper Kupp? ›

Players selected: Receiver Cooper Kupp (No. 69) and safety John Johnson (No. 91). How they fared: Kupp has become the poster boy for third-round draft picks.

How many games has Davante Adams missed in his career? ›

Adams leads the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs over the last 4 seasons – despite missing 7 games.

Who did Davante Adams play with in college? ›

Davante Adams

Why did Davante Adams leave the Packers? ›

He loved Green Bay and playing with Rodgers, and the money was there with the Packers, but he wasn't willing to give up moving closer to home, getting his family to the West Coast and playing with Carr for the potential of one or maybe two more years of playing with Rodgers.

What did the Packers get for Davante Adams? ›

– All the blanks of the Green Bay Packers' trade of Davante Adams have been filled in. In March, the Packers sent their All-Pro receiver to the Las Vegas Raiders for a pair of draft picks, No. 22 of the first round and No. 53 of the second round.

Did the Raiders draft Derek Carr? ›

Derek Carr went at No. 12 to the Vikings, meaning the Raiders had no shot of getting back their franchise quarterback. In this draft, 12 quarterbacks came off the board in the first 13 picks.

What is Davante Adams favorite team? ›

I was a Raiders fan my whole life, so it is a dream to be a Raider, man," Adams said. "It's a dream come true. In the third-grade yearbook, I said I want to be an NFL star or an NBA star, and I was wearing a Charles Woodson jersey at the time. It's been documented forever, so I guess you could say it's meant to be."

Is Davante Adams a good fantasy pick? ›

One of the best wide receivers in the NFL and fantasy football, Las Vegas Raiders WR Davante Adams projects to be an early pick once again as his 2022 fantasy outlook rivals the top players in the game.

Are Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams still friends? ›

Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers remain close friends beyond Packers. In all of his comments, Adams hasn't said anything to malign Rodgers.

Does Davante Adams want to leave the Packers? ›

Playing with Carr, however, wasn't the only reason Adams wanted out of Green Bay. He also didn't like the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rodgers' future with the Packers. Adams said on Thursday that not knowing how much longer Rodgers would play in the NFL was a big factor in his decision to leave Green Bay.

Does Davante Adams like Aaron Rodgers? ›

Raiders wideout Davante Adams continues to praise his former Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, after the dynamic duo split this offseason. “It was amazing man,” Adams said of his time playing with Rodgers during an appearance on “The Pivot” podcast.

Did the Packers offer davante more money? ›

The California native admitted on Thursday to media members that the Packers had indeed offered him more money than Las Vegas. Ultimately, the trade meant more to him than money. He said wanted to be near where he grew up and be close to his family.

Who are the Packers signing? ›

Signed S Rudy Ford. Signed QB Danny Etling, WR Travis Fulgham, CBs Rico Gafford and Kiondre Thomas, RBs Tyler Goodson and Patrick Taylor, DLs Jack Heflin and Chris Slayton, OT Caleb Jones, LBs Kobe Jones, La'Darius Hamilton and Ray Wilborn to the practice squad. Waived DB Micah Abernathy.

How much did the Raiders pay davante Adams? ›

The wide receiver was stunningly traded to the Raiders this offseason, promptly signing a big-time contract worth $140 million over five years.

Does the Raiders QB wear eyeliner? ›

His eyes will certainly get their own press conference if the Raiders reach the Super Bowl. So no, Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr does not wear eyeliner. He just happens to have the darkest eyelashes known to man.

How rich is Derek Carr? ›

Derek Carr Net Worth
Net Worth:$80 Million
Date of Birth:Mar 28, 1991 (31 years old)
Place of Birth:Fresno, California

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