“An every-down wide out, that’s the exact goal,” Carr said.
In three seasons at Auburn, Carr has caught a total of 11 passes for 244 yards, which averages out to a very solid 22.2 yards per catch. Three of his receptions have gone for touchdowns covering 46, 48 and 16 yards.
But he has yet to prove he can play with the necessary consistency to be a bigger part of the mix at wide receiver.
This year marks his best and last chance. Gone are Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachery, the Tigers’ top two wide receivers from last season’s national championship team.
“For Q, he’s got to know every play, when it’s a ball being thrown to him, it’s full speed,” said Auburn wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor. “When it’s a block being made on the perimeter, he’s got to work on that.
“He’s really trying. I think a lot of it is just bad habits, because he hasn’t played much.”
Carr said Taylor and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn are satisfied with his ability to catch the deep ball. It’s the other aspects of his game that need work.
“Coach Malzahn always tells me I’ve got a deep part of my game down good,” Carr said. “I just basically need to work on my short game and blocking. That’s the biggest thing I’m working on right now.”
Taylor said another reason Carr needs to expand his game is because it’s becoming obvious to opponents why he’s in the lineup.
“He’s starting to understand that we can’t just put him in as a deep threat,” Taylor said. “You think about all the games, tell me one deep ball that he dropped. He makes those plays when he gets the opportunity. But the defense will know if we just put him in there for the deep ball. It won’t take long for them to figure it out.”
So far through the spring, Carr is in the mix to be one of the Tigers’ regular contributors. He had a touchdown reception in Auburn’s first scrimmage.
“For us, the guys who have to make plays for us every day are DeAngelo Benton, Emory Blake, Trovon Reed and Quindarius Carr,” Taylor said.
Reed and Carr are primarily competing for Zachery’s spot in the lineup.
Carr also remains in the mix on punt returns. He handled those duties for the majority of last season, returning 19 punts for 108 yards.
However, he was unable to deliver any big plays on returns, leading Auburn coach Gene Chizik to throw open the competition on punt returns.
Carr is battling Reed, Jonathon Mincy and Demetruce McNeal for the starting spot.
“Doing alright, doing good,” Carr said of his progress on punt returns. “I’m just working on getting underneath the ball better than I did last year. Me and Trovon were looking at film with coach (Jay) Boulware the other day and I saw a lot of opportunities I had to return some balls where I just wasn’t under it good enough.”
But Carr’s main objective this spring is locking down a starting spot at wide receiver.
He’s confident he can do it.
“It’s been not-so-lucky sometimes for me I guess,” he said. “Just being a role guy. But now I feel like I’ve stepped in and made my statement on this team.”
Charles Bennett covers Auburn sports for The Star.