These days, Derek Carr is spending his time leading the Oakland Raiders to their best record to start a season since 2002.
But a long time ago, he was just another football fan, cheering on his brother, David, in Houston.
“The city was great to myself and my family,” Carr said on Thursday. “We have nothing but respect for respect for that city”
Carr was born in Bakersfield but he and his family moved to Houston after the Texans drafted his brother back in 2002.
He went on to star at Clements High School where he guided the Rangers to a perfect regular season, a district title and a deep playoff run.
“Just a lot of great memories, man. I love Houston,” Carr said. “I still have some of my closest friends that not only live there but are from there, my time there, and we all keep in contact. So, I have nothing but love for the city of Houston. I had a great time there, and like I said before, Mr. McNair is first class, so I wish him all the best, except this week.”
Carr played his final year of high school in California before committing to play at Fresno State.
In 2014, Carr was one of the top quarterback prospects to come out of college and many believed the Texans would draft him. On Thursday, Carr admitted that he didn’t think that would happen.
“No, definitely not,” Carr said. “They didn’t say one word to me or talk to me so I didn’t think I was going to go there at all.”
The Texans went on to draft offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo ahead of Carr a decision which the team still stands by as they prepare to face the quarterback.
“We just try to make the best decision for the team, and that’s what we did,” head coach Bill O’Brien said on Wednesday. “We chose who chose and we’re happy with who we chose. Derek’s having a good year.”
Carr still holds a special place in his heart for Houston and Texans owner Bob McNair, but for at least one night in Mexico City, all that will be forgotten.
“I have nothing but love for the city of Houston,” Carr said. “I had a great time there, and like I said before, Mr. McNair is first class, so I wish him all the best, except this week.”
The Texans and Raiders will play the first NFL game in Mexico City on Monday, November 21st.