But here's the kicker: He tore his ACL way back on Oct. 19, when the Commodores upset Georgia 31-27.
Instead of packing it in and undergoing surgery shortly after Vandy's win, Carta-Samuels "made the ultimate commitment to his team," Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said, by deciding to play when he could. Carta-Samuels sat out Vandy's loss at Texas A&M and the Commodores' win in Gainesville over Florida, but he returned to start Vandy's final three games of the season -- all wins.
Equipped with a knee brace, Carta-Samuels threw for 596 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in Vandy's final three games. He also ran for 28 yards in a 23-21 win over Wake Forest in the season finale.
Carta-Samuels clearly played through pain during the last three games of the season, but he told reporters that he couldn't do any more damage to his knee. Doctors also cleared him to play with a knee brace. Still, it was a pretty gutsy decision by Carta-Samuels to push through and play -- and actually be effective.
With Carta-Samuels out, Patton Robinette will start Vandy's bowl game Jan. 4. Robinette helped lead the Dores to that upset of Georgia after Carta-Samuels left and then threw for 216 yards in Vandy's 56-24 loss at Texas A&M. He then turned around to guide the Dores to their historic 34-17 win at Florida while throwing the ball just 12 times for 57 yards.
With Carta-Samuels graduating, Robinette will go into the spring with the upper hand in the quarterback competition. Getting these bowl prep reps and starting in a postseason game will certainly help him as he gets more and more comfortable with the offense and leading this team.