Most of us know the beating-the-odds true story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger who was accepted into the prestigious University of Notre Dame, made the football team as a walk-on for two seasons, and then finally got a chance to dress — and play — during the team's final home game. It all was made legendary after "Rudy" hit the silver screen in the 1990s.
While Jayson Carter may never see his name splashed across a movie marquee, his story is no less inspirational.
The 4-foot-9-inch, 140-pound running back survived three years as a walk-on member of Rice University's football squad and carried the ball in a real game only one time. Rice's Hawaii Bowl contest against Fresno State on Wednesday was Carter's last chance to play.
With Rice leading by a comfortable 30-6 margin with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Owls faced a third down with eight yards to go. If Rice doesn't end up gaining those eight yards on the next play, the ball would go to Fresno State — and the Rice offense probably wouldn't see the ball again.
So Carter — who had walked into his coach's office much like a scene from "Rudy" and asked to get into a game — trotted out to the line of scrimmage.
Not that Fresno State cared about the heart-thumping moment. As Carter grabbed the handoff and buzzed around right end, he got a bone-rattling introduction to the Bulldogs’ strong safety Charles Washington, who outweighs Carter by nearly 60 pounds and stands over a foot taller.
Boom! Washington stopped Carter cold after the gusty back gained two yards.
But you wouldn't have guessed how hard he got hit by the way Carter immediately jumped up and trotted back to his squad's sideline to high-fives and hugs.
Carter — who was born with a genetic disorder that stunted his growth, Bleacher Report said — had one carry for one yard in the 2013 season. He did play four years with his high school team, gaining over 1,000 yards and registering many a tackle, too.
He's graduating in May 2015 with a computer science degree.
Check out Carter's final run:
(H/T: The Daily Dot)