Carson Hilton Palmer was born December 27, 1979, in Fresno, California. He later moved to Southern California and became a high school legend in Orange County, compiling a QB rating of 203.9 in his senior year.
Palmer was recruited all over the country but settled close to home at USC. Surprisingly, the QB underwhelmed during his first three years at the school. Once head coach Pete Carroll brought in offensive coordinator Norm Chow, Palmer exploded for USC under the revamped offense and the Trojans burst onto the scene as a national title contender. Palmer completed 309 of 489 passes for 3942 yards and 33 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions during the 2002 season on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. USC crushed a talented Iowa team, 38-17, in the Orange Bowl and many experts felt was the arguably best team in the country afterward.
Palmer was selected as the No. 1 overall NFL pick in 2003 by the Cincinnati Bengals. He helped turn the team around, leading them to a division title in 2005. Palmer was a two-time Pro Bowler with the team in 2005, 2006. Unfortunately, after his early success his career has been plagued by injuries. With Andy Dalton's emergence in Palmer's absence, the QB moved onto the Raiders, where he could never replicate his stardom. In 2013 Palmer became part of the Arizona Cardinals' relevance once again in the NFC West. Palmer was off to a great start with the team in 2014 with 11 TDs and 3 INTs in six games, but unfortunately a knee injury ended his season.
Happy birthday Carson Palmer, and here's to a speedy recovery.