Cue the Spider-Man meme: Jets draft two players named Michael Carter

Victoria Hernandez
·3 min read
New York Jets fan of the year Lynne Pondview reacts after the Jets selected Michael Carter II, cornerback for Duke, in the fifth round of the NFL football draft, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
New York Jets fan of the year Lynne Pondview reacts after the team selected Michael Carter II, a cornerback for Duke, in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday in Cleveland. (Tony Dejak / Associated Press)

"Michael Carter," Jets head coach Robert Saleh will call while taking roll in his first season at the helm.

And two hands will rise, likely in confusion as to which Michael Carter he's referring to.

The Jets selected two players named Michael Carter in the 2021 NFL draft. The first was North Carolina's senior running back, who was taken as the second pick in the fourth round, No.107 overall. The second was Duke's senior defensive back, who was chosen at the 10th spot in the fifth round, No.154 overall. The latter is Michael Carter II, which might help with the distinction.

There are plenty of nickname options for the duo. A play off Jay Z and Beyonce's collective nature as "The Carters," the sports talk show "Mike & Mike" or Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter II" album are some possibilities.

The two rookies are already having fun with the unique situation, calling each other "twin" on social media.

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The two Carters played against each other during their four seasons at rival ACC schools. Their teams split the opportunities to take home the Victory Bell. The Tar Heels running back had two touchdowns in the series and was UNC's leading rusher in the 2018 matchup with 148 yards. The Blue Devils defensive back had 10 tackles in the four games, including four in the 2019 matchup and an interception in his senior season.

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There are already two other Michael Carters who have graced the gridiron in the NFL. Michael Carter was a Pro Bowl nose tackle for the 49ers who was drafted in 1984. A lesser-known Mike Carter was a wide receiver who was drafted by the Packers in 1970 and spent a season there and a season with the Chargers before calling it a career.

The NBA also has guard Michael Carter-Williams, who was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013.

The name Michael was one of the top five most popular baby names for boys born in the United States from 1949 through 2010.

Social media had a field day with the Jets' unusual draft picks. Some wondered if they made a mistake while others were amused at the coincidence.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.