Carson played for Coach Willie Jeffries at South Carolina State University from 1972–1975 and did not miss a single game in four years. He became the first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) player to win consecutive Defensive Player of the Year honors, and assisted SC State to consecutive conference championships. In 1975, he set school records with 117 tackles and 17 sacks. With Carson as their captain, the Bulldogs defense recorded six shutouts in 1975, and held their opponents to just 29 points, an NCAA record for a ten game season. Carson was drafted in the fourth round of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Giants. He spent all of his 13 seasons with them, leading the team in tackles for five seasons, and was their captain for ten. Carson retired at the end of the 1988 season, and was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.