Tight end Carson Welch was looking forward to his redshirt freshman year on the SMU football team. But instead of catching passes for the Mustangs, he caught COVID-19.
"The biggest thing for me was like loss of taste and smell, that was the big thing for me. Fever as well," Welch said. "The fever was also a bad part for like the first week. Couldn't even get out of bed. Couldn't do anything active for a whole month."
"Every day for a good 10 days I would check (on him) morning and night, in the afternoon, 'Are you eating well? Did you take this medicine? That medicine?' You know, just checking on him," Carson's mother Kim Welch said.
Carson recovered, but he never regained a taste for the 2020 football season.
"I didn't feel safe doing it," he said. "I didn't think it would be a good thing for me to do, so my family agreed with me and we kind of just went from there."
Carson decided to opt out of the season, giving him and his parents unexpected free time.
"We've really missed the whole football scene, not only for Carson, but also for the whlole SMU program which has been outstanding to Carson, by the way," Carson's father Craig Welch said.
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For Carson, a football-free fall turned his focus from the gridiron to another passion of his -- music.
"Music was always something I leaned on. So driving home, the first thing I do is put on my music so it's been a big part of my life, so I would say around the time the COVID symptons started to go away, that's when I picked it up again," he said. "Finally had more time to, more time on my hands to do things and that was just the thing I turned towards."
And that has led to a budding artistic career in which Carson writes and performs songs and stars in music videos shot on location in Miami.
"It's a mix between rap and pop," Carson said of his music genre.
What does his mother think of his music?
"Well, at first I'm just not a fan of the rapping but as long as he keeps it clean and no cussing, I'm very happy because it makes him happy," Kim Welch said. "It's his emotional and mental release and I think when he had COVID and was quarantined, that time allowed him to just get rid of his pressures and stress and boredom
"His original stage name was C-Dub which is my initials," Craig Welch said. "It's also his initials and when we both started searching it as this thing started progressing, I told him there's a lot of C-Dubs out there right, so I told him he needs to be creative which he is, and come up with his own name and he came up with this Primo Car$o."
Yes, that's a money symbol in the moniker.
"It's just kind of one of those rapping things. A lot of rappers do it," Carson said.
But very few rappers, if any, got their start the way Carson did.
"I was pretty down on myself for a while getting COVID, couldn't see anybody, couldn't do anything, I was locked in the house, so the first week it was pretty tough and then I kind of just started to get over it, started making music and then that's kind of when I started getting happy again," he said.
"If more people can take this down time and quarantine and make something creative and happy out of it, I just think it's awesome," Kim Welch said.
And it's certainly something to sing about during a trying year.