Long before Carson was the #2 overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles and the two-time FCS title game MVP, Carson was raised in the small state of North Dakota. Carson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, but soon moved with his family to Bismarck, North Dakota while he was a child. As he grew up in North Dakota and attended North Dakota State University, Carson fell in love with the outdoors.
Photo by Steven Drake
He is an active outdoorsman and values all of the lessons that can be learned from the great outdoors. As his passion with the outdoors grew, he decided to purchase his first dog while he was a junior in college. While most thought he was crazy for taking on the responsibility of a dog while going to school and being the starting quarterback, Carson loved every moment of raising Henley. His passion for these four-legged creatures has been growing since the first day he brought Henley home in 2013. In fact, in the winter of 2016, Henley had her first litter of pups and Carson is now the proud owner of Henley and one of her son’s, Jersey.
While Carson attended North Dakota State University, his faith grew immensely. With a little help from current NDSU teammates, Carson’s faith soared to new heights. Carson vividly remembers this day his freshman year during fall camp:
My head was spinning, I had just learned new language in install meetings and Dante (Dante Perez—Sr. QB at the time) says, ‘Hey, ever read the Bible?’ I’m like, ‘We’re at football practice, not right now.’ Then we started talking, ended up meeting and he kind of mentored me in my faith for about a year. Dante was huge, I owe him a lot.
Like all of Carson’s passions, he quickly dug in and wanted to learn more. He became an active member of the team Bible study, regular attendee of church, and shared his testimony with many at North Dakota State University. As a constant reminder of staying the course, Carson has “AO1” tattooed on the underside of his right wrist— which stands for “Audience of One.” Carson said, “It was kind of a motto I picked up early in my career, and I finally put it on my body just to live with Jesus as my audience. Whether it is playing football, going to school or whatever I’m doing, I’m doing it for the Lord as my audience.”
These three passions; his faith, love for the outdoors, and his love for dogs have all come together in the AO1 Foundation. Carson felt a calling during his rookie season with the Philadelphia Eagles and he knew he wanted to give back. He has been given a platform that few in the world are fortunate enough to experience. With this exposure he wants to execute the mission of the foundation by “demonstrating the love of God by providing opportunities and support for the less fortunate and those in need.” Like everything Carson does in life, he is ready to give all he has to his foundation in order to fulfill the foundation’s mission and objectives!