Of all the people involved with the Auburn University football team, the man in charge of giving insight into the lives of the players is a former University of South Carolina wide receiver.
Carlton Heard is the creator of 'The Ride,' a YouTube video series that gives an in-depth look into the practices, meetings and stories of the 2019 Auburn football team.
The goal of this series is simple: to tell the untold stories of the men behind the helmets and under the pads.
Heard played football for the University of South Carolina, but when he graduated in 2015, he realized that he had a second passion as well.
“Of course, you know, every college football player tries to go to the league after training camps and all that,” Heard said about his post-undergraduate journey. “So, I did the camps and my agent asked me to send him videos for scouts. I loved making videos already. From there, I started really focusing and it came to a point where I fell in love with making videos, rather than going to the NFL or CFL.”
Heard went on to intern at South Carolina for a year which eventually landed him a director position for Diesel Laptops. While in this role, he got a call from Auburn University, offering him a filming position that combines two of his passions.
“For me, it’s like the best of both worlds,” Heard said of his new job at Auburn. “From playing football before to making videos about football now, I feel like it gives me a different perspective on these guys since I’ve been in their shoes.”
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Heard added that he cannot do this task alone. His team is composed of graphic-design creator Dylan Baker, intern Tevyn Richardson and creative director of branding Will Flowers. This team not only helps bring Heard’s stories and visions to life, they’re even responsible for solidifying the name.
“Our theme was riding for the brand," Heard said. "While brainstorming, Dylan Baker suggested to just call the series ‘The Ride’. I thought it was genius.”
Heard doesn’t stop the camera from rolling unless the coaches instruct him to do so. With moments like the football players breaking into their own rendition of “Old Town Road," the behind-the-scenes look into the team tends to develop organically.
“That moment happened during the team meeting, and it spurred up some more ideas,” Heard said of the second episode of the series. We went to the field, got some shots of Eli Stove, and it just came about that way.”
'The Ride' is meant to showcase not only the players and the coaches but also the people outside of the team who have a story connecting them to Auburn football.
“I want 'The Ride' to help those people that never get to truly see football players," Heard said. “They only see them on the field, so they treat them like they’re only football players. When they get off that field, they do the same things as you do. They go through the same problems as you. Giving insight that these are football players, and these are coaches, but they’re human just like you.”
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