Carrington emerging as a leader

There is little doubt that Lloyd Carrington doesn't succumb to pressure. When the University of Pittsburgh football team was up in arms over Todd Graham leaving for Arizona State after one year, the cornerback actually chose to follow his head coach to Tempe in a move that was probably not popular among his Panther teammates. Then again, a leader is one who bucks the trend for the greater good.

"It was a bit difficult initially but once I looked at all the situations I had and I looked at Coach Graham's it was a great opportunity," said Carrington about transferring to Arizona State. "To play in the Pac-12, to play in a great stadium, to just be up under a defense I understand and a coach that I understand.

"I actually had previous relationships with a lot of different coaches but with coach Graham being a Texas native, and I actually played pretty well as a freshman in his defense, I just felt confident and knew that I would be able to come here and make an impact."

The cornerback was positive that he would be able to come to the Sun Devils and impact the defense. Tempe was undoubtedly quite different from Pittsburgh but the change was also something that Carrington embraced.

"The hardest adjustment I would have to say is just getting accustomed to the environment," Carrington recalled. "The environment around here, as far as the school and the people here, was a lot different from the East Coast and Texas but I like it. It was a great move."

The 5-11 189-pound Lloyd Carrington came into spring practice as one of the more experienced cornerbacks. He played as a true freshman at Pitt but saw limited time for the Sun Devils during the 2013 season where he recorded 17 interceptions and one interception. The junior hope to set an example for the younger cornerbacks.

"I do feel like I need to be a leader," Carrington stated. "I'm not really a vocal person it's something I'm working on now, but definitely leading by example is the approach I take. I'm just coming out here and showing these guys hard work and dedication, mentally to being a student of the game to what Coach Graham is teaching us to make us successful as a whole.

"Having more knowledge than all the other corners I'm just wanting to take a leadership role and do my part to help and get the guys prepared for spring and just for the season overall."

Even though the ASU defense lost nine starters, the cornerback feels that there are plenty of guys ready to work hard right now in order to fill those spots here in the spring and newcomers arriving in the summer will do the same.

"I've seen us making a lot of progress," said Carrington. "We're young but we've actually got a lot of mature players on the team and a lot of confident players and coach Graham is seeing that for himself, as well as the coaching staff. The main thing is just keeping us all focused, just focused on our goals that we have for this season and to remain optimistic about it. But the players we have coming in and the one here are really talented so it's looking pretty good for us next year."

Going against a highly talented offense in practice aids Carrington in developing his skills, and with one year of Pac-12 play experience the cornerback feels more prepared than he was this time last year contending with the rigors of conference play and the explosive offenses it presents.

"I feel like it gets easier, especially for me," Carrington said about the challenges of playing cornerback. "I have a year of playing under my belt with coach Graham again so I feel a lot more confident. I know what to expect from receivers in the Pac-12.

"Going up against receivers like Jaelen Strong and then playing a mental game with TK (Taylor Kelly) is helping me out a lot, I'm learning a lot from a mental standpoint and just getting better and better every day as far as fundamentals and technique. It will help me going into the season to make sure I'm more confident."

Cornerback is certainly a demanding position which requires a short memory approach to play it. Always focusing on the next play and discarding the previous one, regardless of its outcome, is an essential characteristic for this role.

"Yeah it's more of a mental thing, just the more you mature mentally as a player," Carrington explained. "No matter if you make a play or get burned you still have to bounce back. Making the plays is on you, you can prolong it a little bit more."

All throughout spring, Carrington plans to focus both on his technique and understanding of the game that will further aid him in his quest to lead his teammates for the challenges that lie ahead both in practice and during the season.

"My bump coverage," said Carrington when asked what he plans to work on. "Just being more physical and more technical as far as footwork, and cutting off receivers at the point of attack.

"I feel that I'm doing pretty well, but just to stay consistent and become a better leader and help the guys up under me elevate their game so they can prepare for next season."

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