Golden's Career Anything But Tarnished

Being a cornerback in arguably the best passing conference in college football is a thankless job. The often scrutinized Josh Golden knows that all too well. But the fact of the matter is that the senior has played in 49 games, collected 144 tackles and those are numbers hardly describe a player who has struggled in his tenure. Tomorrow the cornerback will close the book on his ASU chapter, and he told Devils Digest how pleased he was that he's going out playing in a post-season game.

"Time flies and you don't realize it when you're a freshman," said a reflective Josh Golden. ‘It seems like yesterday I was here in freshman camp. These four years went by fast, and I'm happy that we're finishing up with a bowl game. I'm definitely excited for that." He added that he and the rest of the team's 19 seniors don't have any special pre-bowl plans to commemorate the last time they will don an ASU uniform. "As seniors we're just gonna enjoy this game," he commented. "It's real cool that it's here in Arizona so a lot of our fans can come and see it. I never played in Chase Filed before, so I'm looking forward to that."

While Golden and his teammates are elated to still be playing in December, it goes without saying that everyone associated with the squad had higher expectations than the current 6-5 season. The 5-10 189 Golden managed to draw to some positives from the 2005 campaign. "We had to fight through a lot of adversity this year," he explained, "so we had a lot of ups and downs. But we did what we needed to do to get to a bowl game. It was nice that we got to get to a bowl game after beating U of A. Of course we wanted to finish higher in the Pac-10, but things just didn't go our way this year."

The cornerback finished fifth on the team in total tackles with 43 and tied for second in pass breakups with six. Ironically, up until his senior year he had no forced fumbles and this season he's tied for the team lead with three. "I had a good year," Golden commented. "I did have some games I could have played better in, but overall I did pretty well. I don't like to grade myself, but I think I did all right."

And who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? In 2005, Golden doubled as a safety, when that position became thin in depth. "There was a lot to stuff to learn playing that position," he recalled, "and this defense isn't the easiest to learn to begin with. But I had a lot of fun. As a safety you get to tackle a lot, and I really enjoyed that. Who knows maybe I'll end up at that position somewhere else."

Playing on the proverbial football island gives more ample opportunity for a corner such as Golden to be criticized. Nevertheless, the senior has learned to take all of that in stride. "Everyone knows when the corner gets beat, because he's out there one-on-one and there's no way of hiding it," Golden explained. "Guys like defensive linemen and linebackers - sometimes you can't tell when they messed up. That's just the nature of playing cornerback. You'll always be in the spotlight, and sometimes it's for a bad reason. But you have to deal with that adversity, because you won't always win and cover well every guy every play. Your mentality is to always to forget about that last play and move on."

Golden said that he will try and extend his playing career, because he's: "Not ready for a real job yet (smile)." Looking back, he does have one memory that sticks out, but wouldn't mind creating new ones in the limited time he has left. "All the bowl games have been fun," he said, "but I have to say my interception for a touchdown against Washington (earlier this season) was probably my favorite moment, because that was the first time I scored. I hope I can have a good game at the Insight Bowl and have a new favorite memory and finish strong my career at ASU. Maybe I'll take it to the house again."

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