NORMAN — Winning Big 12 titles, playing in the national title game and never losing a home game will be lifelong memories for Oklahoma senior safety Quinton Carter.
Carter, though, experienced another lifelong memory Tuesday that had nothing to do with football.
One of 11 Football Bowl Subdivision players nationally to be selected to the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works team, Carter was surprised when a group of four-year-old kids from KinderCare appeared at the presentation minutes before OU coach Bob Stoops' weekly press conference.
“I will never forget this day,” Carter said. “I was just telling one of the parents my heart is still beating. My stomach dropped when those kids walked around the corner. I guess they've known about this for 10 days. I had no idea.”
Carter donated some free time last summer at the day care to help teach the children basic reading and writing skills. He also is involved in other community projects in Norman, Oklahoma City and Las Vegas, his hometown.
Carter has worked with Habitat for Humanity, a young single fathers program, organized a youth football clinic in Las Vegas and created his own non-profit organization named SOUL (Serving Others through Unity and Leadership).
“I feel God put me in this position to give back and help others and change others' lives,” Carter said. “That's the motivation... In high school my senior year I thought about what I wanted to do and this was my passion, to be around kids, talk to kids.”
OU's second leading tackler last season, Carter has a hectic schedule. He attends classes, practices and film sessions besides weight lifting and studying for tests. In season it's more difficult to be as active in the community but he still makes time to get involved.
“I don't play video games,” Carter said. “That gives me hours of free time. Any free time I have I try to mentor the boys in Oklahoma City or go to KinderCare.”
One of 112 nominees, Carter is the fourth Sooner to be named to the Good Works Team, the most recent being Gerald McCoy in 2008.
“I'm shocked. I'm honored,” Carter said. “I don't do this for recognition. I'm just trying to help out. To be rewarded for that just makes it that much better.”