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4-Foot-9 Running Back Became the Shortest Ever (Then Got Rocked)

The shortest college football players sometimes turn out to be the most electric and dynamic.

Remember LSU punt returner and wide receiver Trindon Holliday? The 5-foot-5 speedster went on to play in the NFL most notably with the Denver Broncos. Jakeem Grant, who starred at Texas Tech, stands just 5-foot-6 and now flashes his agility for the Miami Dolphins.

Back in 2014, we were gifted with a player even shorter. In fact, he may be the shortest college football player of all time, at least in the FBS. Meet 4-foot-9 Jayson Carter, the Rice running back who made history and got rocked in the process of doing so.

4-Foot-9 RB Makes History, Gets Rocked

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The Rice Owls led by 24 points with two minutes left in the Hawai'i Bowl against Fresno State. With the game well out of reach, Rice head coach David Bailiff decided it was time to give his 4-foot-9, 140-pound walk-on running back the pigskin.

The crowd at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu rose to their feet in excitement. Then, standing next to his towering quarterback, he was given the ball.

Carter actually raced around the edge and got two yards before he was pummeled by a Fresno State defender. Hey, no one said they were going to take it easy on you, Jayson.

According to the University Herald, Jayson Carter became the shortest FBS player ever, but he actually did that a season prior in 2013 when he received a single carry and gained a yard in a blowout win over UTEP.

"That young man is here every day busting his tail on the scout team. He deserves it," head coach David Bailiff said afterward. "I'm thrilled we got Jayson into a Division I football game."


Carter walked on the Owls in 2011 after rushing for more than 1,000 yards in his high school career at the Knowledge is Power Program school in Houston. He also played defense in high school.

His coach at KIPP, Jason Jones, said he could go head to head with any college football player. Carnival rides, however, might not be his thing.

"He's very capable of doing everything other Division I players can do," Jones told The Houston Chronicle in 2011, "except maybe ride a ride at an amusement park."

Wherever Jayson Carter is now, I'm sure he's standing tall.

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