"We've got great memories here, our entire family," said former Bulldog quarterback David Carr. "The fans are unbelievable here. They've always been supportive of everything that we've done as a family and as a team. So it's easy coming back here."
Fast forward a dozen years, and the free agent NFL veteran is back on Jim Sweeney Field, impressed while watching little brother Derek lead his alma mater.
"He's a great leader," said David Carr. "I've always known that he can throw a football, but the things that mean more then that are how he leads guys, how he leads his family, and in the end it's going to work out great for not only him, but for the community as well."
It's no secret that family and faith come first for the Carr brothers, but it's the extent that many Red Wavers may not understand. For David, middle brother Darren and Derek, life is so much more than just football.
"None of that stuff has eternal significance," said Derek Carr. "One day, whether it's because I throw too many picks or I'm too old, they're going to take my jersey away. When that's done, you're going to be a dad and a husband a lot longer than you're going to be a quarterback."
But that doesn't mean a steadfast faith in God and a strong desire to win on the gridiron can't go hand in hand. Big brother David has made this clear little brother Derek.
"There's two or three of the biggest things that come to mind of just things that he's taught me over the years," explained Derek. "The first one is don't be an idiot. And what that means is nothing good happens after midnight. Another one, going into this year especially, was you're going to get praised and you're going to get criticized. Ignore both."
And now with one last season at Fresno State to make both Bulldogs and Red Wavers BCS dreams come true, both Carr brothers know they will need help from a higher power to get it done.
"God's plan, man," said David Carr. "That's what it's all about. If he keeps Him first, He'll take you anywhere you want to go as long as you're proclaiming his name. Derek knows that."
"I know that if I put my trust in God, every time it ends up ok," said Derek Carr. "I always end up on the right side. Especially when I try to do things myself, nothing gets done. It gets worse."
Good thing he'll have an enormous Red Wave behind him.