Transfer has benefited Carrington

Unless you are a Sun Devil fan who has sworn off the Internet, it's been impossible to ignore the amount of vitriol that University of Pittsburgh players, fans and alumni have lobbed towards Todd Graham, who coached the Panthers for one season before accepting the head coaching job at ASU. Then you have Lloyd Carrington who gladly followed Graham to Tempe and is flourishing in spring practice.

Lloyd Carrington admitted that much like his head coach, he too has endured his fair share of backlash from the Pittsburgh followers for his decision to call Arizona State his new home. He noted that the criticism he has received didn't affect his decision at all or made him regret it after the fact.

"At the end of the day you have got to think about yourself," Carrington said. "At the end of the day it's still a business and you have to do what's best for you academically and on the field as well."

The cornerback didn't play football until his senior year at Dallas' Lincoln High School, yet still had scholarship offers from multiple suitors around the country, one being Todd Graham and the Pitt Panthers. Under Graham, Carrington appeared in seven games during his freshman year, recording two tackles.

Carrington decided to transfer to ASU and arrived in Tempe, just after fall camp had ended. While sitting out the 2012 season due to NCAA transfer rules the cornerback made most of his hiatus being one of the standouts on the scout team, and these days he is contending for a starting role at the field corner position opposite Osahon Irabor.

The Sun Devil defense was one of the best in the country in 2012, ranked second in the Pac-12 and 27th in the nation with 350.8 yards per game. Carrington said sitting out a year, having to watch from the sidelines and not being able to play for a defense like Arizona State's motivated him to get better so he could contribute in 2013.

"Last year I just really worked on being mentally tough and then preparing for the tempo that coach Graham brings," he said. "And physically, just getting myself stronger for the game, like upper body stuff to help me in press coverage. I have the tools to help this defense out a lot. If I'm given such an opportunity to play on a great defense like this, it would be an honor."

Carrington admitted that the overall transition to ASU was made easier due to the support of his new teammates as well as Graham of course.

"It's a great group of guys," Carrington said. "They all come from many different places and that's one thing I really like about the team. Although you've got different dudes and different attitudes they all come together as one to play as a team."

Carrington is a player that Todd Graham thinks highly of, calling him a fine young man and a great person.

"He grew up in the same area I grew up in," Graham said. "I had a close relationship with him and that's why he's here. The more time you spend with someone the easier it is."

Being already familiar with Graham's philosophy and coaching methods, was another aspect that has helped the cornerback get used to his new surroundings much quicker than the typical newcomer.

"There's actually not a whole lot of difference with the way he coaches here, it's pretty much the same," Carrington said. "I still knew some of the terminology and then just some of the defensive concepts. I like his attitude and his aggressive scheme on defense. It allows us to be at corner and have the opportunity to make a lot of plays."

The 2013 Sun Devil defense is not short on leaders, specifically in the secondary, with seniors Alden Darby and Osahon Irabor. Carrington said that playing on this unit has been made much simpler because of that tandem.

"They have been supporting me a lot," Carrington said. "There's a few defensive calls that are new, and they've supported me and helped me learn the new stuff in the playbook."

For most of the spring Carrington has primarily run with the second team corners, and is battling with Rashad Wadood and Robert Nelson for the starting role and is confident he can achieve that feat. Thursday actually marked the first session where he saw extensive action with the first team.

"I think I'm actually in a pretty good position because of my athletic tools and body figure," said the 6-0 188-pound Carrington. "But I still have to just come out and work hard every day and prove and show the coaches that I can play."

Carrington even dabbed with some field safety duties when Laiu Moeakiola was absent from practice, and talked about the necessary adjustments he had to make there.

"With safety you have more reads obviously but the defensive scheme overall is simple," Carrington said. "You have to just pay attention to alignments and the formations."

As spring practice draws to a close next week, Carrington noted that the coaches are still reminding the team every day where they want to be on January 1st: in Pasadena, playing in the Rose Bowl.

When asked what he feels the key to getting there will be, the cornerback singled out one aspect.

"Communication," Carrington said, "because I think we have the athletes and the talent. So just being able to communicate and be disciplined."


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