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December 16, 2013

Franklin: Carta-Samuels out for Compass Bowl

Starting quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels career at Vanderbilt has come to an end, head coach James Franklin announced to the media on Monday following the second session of the Commodores bowl practices.

"I don't usually do this, but I'm going to tell you because his career is over, but Austyn Carta-Samuels tore his ACL in the Georgia game. I'm really proud of that kid, he rehabbed and was able to get a brace that he could practice in and play in and put the team ahead of himself," Franklin said. "He then had surgery right when the season ended and he's going to try to get ready for his pro day. He made the ultimate commitment to his team.

"There's just certain guys, the doctors cleared him and we didn't do anything to put him in harm's way, but we took a while to see if he could do it, he wanted to do it and the doctor's cleared him, so he's just one of those guys that are able to do it [play on a torn ACL]. He put the team first, and now he's had his surgery and will get ready for pro day."

Many inside the program believed Carta-Samuels was lost for the season after the initial torn ACL on October 19th, but the senior captain was able to return to action on November 16th against Kentucky.

Though his usual mobility was noticeably absent, Carta-Samuels was able to complete 64-of-84 passes for 596 yards in Commodore victories over Kentucky, Tennessee and Wake Forest.

According to Franklin, there were some discussions on Carta-Samuels holding off surgery for the bowl game, but the third-year head coach said the decision ultimately came down to what was best for the California native as well as the team.

"We had a lot of discussions about it and weighed things about how if he played [in the bowl game] how would that effect his pro day, but he did something that 99-percent of college athletes and high school players wouldn't have done and put this team first for a long time, so at that point we feel like it was in his best interest," said Franklin. "It also gave us some time to get Patton [Robinette] ready and get him so more reps and help develop him. Patton's done a good job and he's ready to go there."

Carta-Samuels posted one of the most efficient seasons in Vanderbilt history in 2013. The 10-game letterman completed 193-of-281 passes for 2,268 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

His overall quarterback rating of 143 ranks among the best in the program over the last 20 years and his 68.7-percent completion percentage shattered Watson Brown's single-season record of 62.2-percent in 1969.

More importantly, Carta-Samuels was 7-3 as a starter this season.

"I do think it was a great example to this team and what we have going here," said Franklin. "We've got great kids that put the team above themselves, put this community above themselves and we're really proud of him. Really proud of him."

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