In 1994, Ki-Jana Carter finished second in the Heisman voting with 1,539 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. He dominated the Rose Bowl before leaving for the NFL draft and was selected first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1995 NFL draft, one spot ahead of Hall of Famer Tony Boselli, and two picks before future NFL MVP Steve McNair.
Carter played in the NFL until he was 31 years old in 2004, but never ran for 500 yards in a season. Carter’s best year was 1997 when he averaged 3.6 yards per carry and finished with 464 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns.
A big part of the problem was that before ever taking a snap in the NFL, Carter tore a ligament in his knee and missed the entire 1995 season. As a rookie in 1996, Carter, who averaged 7.8 yards per carry in his senior year at Penn State, only managed 2.9 yards per carry for the Bengals.
Over his seven years in the NFL, Carter managed just 1,144 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.