Defensive back Lloyd Carrington followed coach Todd Graham from Pittsburgh to Arizona State.
Carrington, a Dallas native who grew up not far from Graham’s home town, joined the Sun Devils in September and sat out the season per NCAA transfer rules. He got his first significant practice run in the spring, and in less than three weeks will battle for the starting job at field cornerback.
Whether or not Carrington wins the starting job, he will contribute this season. Carrington was good enough to play in seven games as a freshman under Graham at Pitt.
Before Carrington makes his debut in maroon and gold, FOXSportsArizona.com sat down with the redshirt junior to get to know him better on and off the field.
FSAZ: You started your college career at Pitt with Todd Graham. What made you decide it was best for you to reunite with him here in Tempe?
Carrington: The defensive scheme, and then just knowing his philosophy and attitude and being comfortable with him as a coach. I had a lot of options open still from my recruitment. I just felt it was the best decision for me — playing in the Pac-12 Conference. What more can you ask for than going from the Big East to the Pac-12? That’s a big jump. FSAZ: You’re from Dallas and Graham is from nearby Mesquite, Texas. Do those shared Texas roots have any effect on the dynamic of your relationship with him? Carrington: You could say that. We’re from different parts of Dallas, but growing up as far as culture and different morals, we’re pretty much the same. And football is what we do out in Texas. As far as knowing what kind of coach he is and him knowing what kind of player I am, that all plays into it.
FSAZ: You had to sit out last year due to transfer rules, but was it difficult to be on the sidelines, especially with the kind of year ASU had?
Carrington: At first I was kind of iffy about (sitting out). I just looked at it from a positive standpoint, as a year I can come in and get better physically and mentally. It was tough to watch just because they did some great things, and you always want to be a part of something like that, but being able to watch and get a feel for the team and the players was a good thing for me.
FSAZ: You were able to practice in the spring, but how eager are you to get out there for your first snap as a Sun Devil on Sept. 5?
Carrington: Oh man, I’m just excited really. I really can’t wait because it’s going to be a good year. The talent is crazy on this team, and the potential is through the roof.
FSAZ: Are you looking forward to the position battle you’ve got coming up here in the fall? What are you expecting?
Carrington: It’s going to be fun. I’m pretty confident in my skills. As for what I can do, I would say man coverage and zone I’m really comfortable with either in this defense. It’s going to be really fun, and I’m not worried. I’ve improved over this past year I’ve been sitting out, so when fall camp gets here I’ll be ready.
FSAZ: Who do you look up to on this team? Who are the leaders in your position group?
Carrington: The two leaders are obviously Alden Darby and Osahon Irabor, the two returning starters, and Rob Nelson as well. I look up to those guys being that they’re older and they’re also skilled players that I can watch and learn from. Just being in the room with them, watching the things they do on and off the field, that’s really helped me develop as a player and a person.
FSAZ: How about away from football? What do you like to do off the field?
Carrington: I like to just chill at home, play video games — Call of Duty, Madden, (NCAA Football). I don’t really like going out much or anything. I just like to chill. My roommate is Marion (Grice), so we play the video games a lot, go at each other.
FSAZ: ASU fans don’t know much about you yet, so what’s something they should know about you?
Carrington: I’m pretty low key as far as off the field, but when I’m on the field my character changes. I’m like Darby — much more active as far as what I do on the field. But just know that I’m a hard worker, and I’m going out playing with pride for the fans in Arizona and the name that’s on my jersey.
FSAZ: Anything more unusual? A hidden talent?
Carrington: I can sing a little bit. I’ve been singing for a long time, since I was young. Just messing around. I was never the one to go join the choir though. That just wasn’t me.
FSAZ: Growing up in Dallas you had to be a Cowboys fan, right?
Carrington: I am, but honestly right now I can’t stand (quarterback Tony) Romo. I don’t know why they re-signed him. At the moment, I’m kind of not (a fan), but I still want them to win, you know.
FSAZ: What NFL players did you idolize or like watching when you were growing up?
Carrington: Of course Deion Sanders — “Primetime,” he’s the man. He and all the other corners like Charles Woodson, Champ Bailey, the older guys. And a few different running backs, too.
FSAZ: What about now? Any active players you try to model your game after?
Carrington: I honestly believe (Buccaneers cornerback) Darrelle Revis right now is the most technically sound corner in the league. I did a little work with a guy, who I didn’t know (Revis) trained with. He’s been training with this guy for years. When I finally figured that out and got to do some things (Revis) does and has been doing for years I understand why he is as good as he is. The stuff we did was pretty difficult.
FSAZ: What are you most looking forward to about this season? Anything specific?
Carrington: I’d probably say the Dallas game (against Notre Dame). I have family there, and we’re playing in Cowboy Stadium. I’ve never even been there before, so I’m looking to have a great game there and then just have a great season overall as a team.