Introducing the 2006 Class: Justin Tryon

Coaches will tell you that cornerbacks must have short memories in order to succeed. It takes just one big passing completion to negate the solid job a tireless defender has exhibited all game long. Furthermore, it takes great mental ability to forget that one play and make sure you don't have a bad case of déjà vu later in the contest. Maybe that's why JC transfer Justin Tryon, is one of the most vocal players in spring practice, as he breeds confidence in himself and his teammates.

"When I'm talking out there, that brings the best out of me," stated Justin Tryon. "I think our defense needs to be more rowdy and have a killer instinct. We need to talk to each other and get after the ball. It's our field and it's three downs and out. I just like to talk because you're on the defense and that's the dark side (smile). Everybody on defense has to have a chip on the shoulder, because the offense gets more love."

As boisterous as the junior may be, he probably has met his match already with fellow corner and last year's JC transfer – Keno Walter-White. "I don't know yet who talks more, because he's not playing yet (due to injury)," Tryon explained. "But he's there on the sidelines hooting and hollering after every play. I can't wait for him to get back so I can play next to him." He added that if he and Walter-White were in the same huddle, chances are no other defender would have an opportunity to squeeze in a word.

Tryon does have much to boast about, as he played on one of the best junior college programs in the Western region - College of the Canyons. The Cougars were crowned the 2004 JC Grid-Wire National Champions, and last year made it all the way to the Southern California Junior College championship game, where they lost to Grossmont. His success attracted many schools early, but ironically Arizona State was one of the last programs to pursue him. "ASU started to recruit my the fourth game of my sophomore year," he recalled. "Coach Fidler came out to see me. He made a nice impression and told me that they needed help right now at corner and that it would be a good place for me to come and compete for a starting position."

Naturally, the Sun Devils' timing made very little difference, and one big reason was Tryon's desire to play in what he thought was the best conference. "I was leaning towards the Pac-10 anyway. It really came down to ASU and Oregon State." Tryon mentioned that other schools who seriously pursued him were Minnesota, Utah, BYU, Nevada, Hawaii, and San Diego State.

Not only did he enjoy individual and team success at the College of the Canyons, but he also learned what to expect at the next level. "The structure was like a D-I school," claimed Tryon. "We had to lift weights, do conditioning…stuff that other JC's don't do. All that stuff was mandatory. I guess that's why we were number one."

The four-star cornerback had 39 tackles during his senior year, with six pass breakups. One of his four interceptions was returned for a 74-yard touchdown. "I'm a physical corner," he said as he described his skills. "I love to bump. I have good hands and fast feet. I'm a good cover corner. Something that I do need to work on is reading the quarterback eyes and recognize the different coverages."

The desire for a tall cornerback has become one of the hottest trends in college football recruiting today. The 5-9 Tryon believes that the vertical measure of a player in his position is vastly overrated. "I always guard taller receivers, and I like doing that anyway," he explained. "You don't have to be a 6-2 corner out there. If you can ball, you can ball."

Tryon is in the midst of his first ever ASU Spring practice. The challenges are certainly there, but his positive attitude is bound to overcome any obstacles that may present themselves. "It's cool. I'm getting used to the calls and it's a big transition," he admitted. "But I'm getting after it and it's lots of fun. I'm not used to having pads on this early, but you just deal with the adversity."

Not only is the cornerback going through his inaugural spring practice, but so is his position coach Al Simmons "I learn so much from him everyday," Tryon commented. "He's a great teacher and he's all about being precise, precise, precise. Everything you do with your hands, your feet – has to be precise. He's a great person to learn from and I thank god that I have a coach like him."

Junior college transfers are brought into Division I programs because they are projected to heavily contribute, if not be a first team member. The ever confident Tryon, believes that theory applies to someone like him. "I will be starting," he claimed. "I gotta say that it's my position to lose. Me being me, with my work ethic – It's gonna take me to the top."

Justin Tryon already has the pre-requisite attitude to thrive in his position. The opportunity to start and succeed is definitely there for the taking, and no one should be surprised if he ultimately capitalizes on that chance. He will surely boast about it when it does happen, and that should be music to the ears of the maroon and gold coaches and its fans…

Recruit Profile


Justin Tryon

Junior College/High School

College of the Canyons Junior College (Calif.)/Taft High School (Calif.)







Date of birth



Pacoima, Calif.


"Everybody calls me J.T. around here"

Favorite TV show


Favorite movie

"Love & Basketball"

Favorite singer/band


Favorite food


Favorite drink


Favorite athlete

"Deion Sanders"

Favorite pro team

"Dallas Cowboys"

Person you most admire

"I have to say my whole family. I just love them to death and I would do anything for them."

First football memory

"It has to be the first year ever playing football, I was like six years old. Every single time I touched the ball I scored a touchdown."

One thing most people don't know about me

"I'm a clown (smile). I like to laugh and have a good time."

Why did you choose ASU?

"I wanted to play in the Pac-10 and start right away."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"Hopefully in the NFL. If that doesn't work out, I'd like to coach a high school team."

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