TEXARKANA, Texas — Texarkana native Tra Carson inked a deal in January to remain in the backfield for the Detroit Lions.
Carson, a Liberty-Eylau grad, earned his first career start with the Lions against the New York Giants this past season.
"It's always a blessing because you never know when it's going to be your last season," Carson said. "It's a blessing to be given a another opportunity to continue playing.
"You never know when you'll get your turn. You have to stay down and keep working, so it'll come for you. I was happy I was able to do that and I'm looking forward to making my way back out there on the field for Detroit."
Carson is in his fifth season professionally. The running back broke into the league with the Cincinnati Bengals before making a stop in Green Bay and then to his current destination in Detroit.
Although Carson is unable to enjoy the NFL's organized team practices, that hasn't slowed him down from progressing in the offseason.
"I'm just working out everyday and trying to stay as safe as possible with the COVID-19 virus that's taking over," Carson said. "I want to stay as active as I can while following the guidelines the national experts have placed on us. I'm just trying to stay active in this down time.
"It's kinda weird to miss OTAs. Going back and being around the guys this time, it's weird not being able to do that right now."
Carson also makes it one of his priorities to stay accessible to his community, Liberty-Eylau, and also any young fans in the area that may look up to him.
"That's one of the biggest reasons I'm around," Carson said. "Kids need to be able to see me and know that it's real. I'm from the same place they're from, so they can see that they can possibly do some of the same things I did if they work hard in the classroom and on the field."
Carson's family ties has made the transition from Green Bay to Detroit smoother during the process.
"I have family in Michigan so it's not too bad," Carson said. "You never really get used to being far away from home. My aunt lives in Michigan. These days with technology, it makes the distance a little easier to deal with. In the end, you never really get used to it."
Carson played three seasons for the Texas A&M Aggies, seeing action in 36 games, collecting 19 rushing touchdowns with 2,075 yards rushing.
"The 12th man itself and the fans makes Texas A&M a very special place," Carson said. "The camaraderie of the guys was also phenomena. I loved my time there."