Brandon Carr is more than just a good cornerback.
He's a good person with an interesting background.
Here are five things to know about the Ravens' newest acquisition:
1) He comes from rough, but talent-rich Flint, Mich.
It's not an easy place to grow up, yet Flint, Mich., has produced a lot of NFL talent. Among those hailing from the area are New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram and former NFL standouts Andre Rison, Paul Krause and Jon Runyan. Carr hasn't forgotten about his Flint roots and still spends many weekends there helping the youth. Flint has been in the center of a water quality crisis. Former Ravens running back Justin Forsett went to the area to provide humanitarian support last offseason.
"Guys look up to the pro players as motivation for them to stay off the streets and spend time in the gym or on the field," Carr said. "I come in and preach to them it's all about academics. If you don't have grades, the colleges aren't going to look at you and you won't get your shot."
2) He grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan
Flint is only about an hour from Detroit, but Carr wasn't lured in by the Lions. He was a Dallas Cowboys fan back during their heyday. He idolized cornerback Deion Sanders, as well as quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Michael Irvin. He often wore a helmet with the star on it around his home. Carr made his dreams come true by playing for the Cowboys for the past five seasons, and even took a healthy pay cut to stay with the team last year. When he left for Baltimore this offseason, Carr said it felt like breaking up with a girlfriend.
3) A Grand Valley State tradition
Despite coming from a hotbed of talent and being a starter at Carman-Ainsworth High School, Carr didn't earn a major college scholarship and ended up at Division II Grand Valley State. While there, he competed on two national championship teams and became an All-American. Now Carr is one of just five NFL players from Grand Valley State. Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon is another.
4) His nickname is 'Iron Horse'
You may know by now that Carr has made 144 straight starts, which is the longest streak of any NFL cornerback and the sixth-longest run at any position. Early on during that run, Carr was given the nickname "Iron Horse" by his Kansas City Chiefs teammates. Carr never missed a start in four seasons with the Chiefs, then continued that stretch over the following five years with the Cowboys. He earned the nickname for more than just the streak though. His foundation's bio page says he got it for being "durable, reliable and tough-minded," and that it still sticks with him today.
5) He has fought against domestic violence
When linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, then killed himself, it hit Carr hard. Carr had been friends with the couple. After the 2012 tragedy, Carr began working against domestic violence. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings reached out to Carr for his help in a men's rally against abuse. The two hosted a charity softball game to raise awareness later that year. Carr is extremely active in the community through his Carr Cares foundation. He focuses on educational enrichment (especially youth literacy) and physical education in Texas and Michigan.