Last week I got to relax with retired New York Jets player, Rob Carper.
Rob Carpenter is a wide receiver that played for the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Jets. In college, he played for the Notre Dame and Syracuse University, where he was drafted into the NFL on the Cincinnati Bengals.
He ranks among the all-time leaders in Syracuse University receptions in most statistics despite only playing for them for two seasons. He ranks fifth in career yards (1656), ninth in touchdowns (10), ninth in receptions (93), seventh in yards/catch (17.8) and second in yards/game (72.0).
We spent an afternoon at Rudy’s Bakery and Café in Ridgewood, Queens. The owner, Toni Ann, greeted us with warmth and tons of baked goods. I asked Rob a few questions, in between eating cheesecake and drinking some coffee…
Rob, you were an all-time leader at Syracuse University. There may be only three other players in history with your stats. Is this true?
I believe there are a few more than three now. But I am still in the top 10 in the best categories of receiving at Syracuse and I only officially played two seasons.
Tell me about your love of basketball… I heard you might have pursued another sport before the NFL.
Well, my love for Basketball goes back to when I was a kid. I initially had a goal of being a college basketball player with hopes of being in the NBA. But I actually received some great advice from my AAU coach who basically said there are plenty of 6’3″ guards playing basketball, but not many 6’3″ receivers. So my chances of turning Pro would be greater playing football. But I still had the goal of possibly playing in college until my senior year in High School when I decided to just focus on preparing to play college football.
Of all the teams you have played on, in your opinion, which uniform color looks best on you?
If you are talking at any level, I would say the orange and blue of Syracuse; but if you mean Pro… then most definitely Jets Green and White.
(I was really asking from a MCM point of view, but that’s OK.)
Do you miss playing professional football?
I miss actual Game Day. But getting prepared for the season and practice I 100% do not miss that part.
In this moment, what is your fave memory from one of the NFL teams you played on?
Well, being able to score my first touchdown in a Jets uniform at home in front of all my family and friends vs. San Francisco is number 1 and scoring a touchdown in my first playoff game is 1a. Those are equal for me.
Are you enjoying retirement? What are you doing with your career?
I’m absolutely enjoying retirement. I’m actually a personal fitness trainer. So it keeps me in shape and keeps me sort of in the athletic world.
How do you give back to your fans?
I haven’t done it in a while but I used to do giveaways on Twitter. But most who know me know that I interact with everyone pretty freely
What words of advice can you give a child wanted to be a professional athlete…
If it’s definitely a goal do not let anyone deter you from reaching the full potential you are given with the talent you have. But also realize that it may not happen for whatever reason but until that point never give up on working hard and taking full advantage of all the resources that are available these days.
Where can we find you on the web?
I’m on Twitter @robcarpenter81 and on IG Rcarp81
You can find Rudy’s Bakery and Café here: