Pierre Singfield was one of the lone bright spots on a struggling Pima Community College team. He earned first-team All-Conference honors and was named a pre-season All-American. He didn't get any looks from BCS conference schools, not even from Arizona State's archrival located just minutes from his junior college in Tucson.
The cornerback arrived in Tempe last spring and hit the ground running becoming an instant success. He tallied 22 total tackles and two pass deflections in the 2008 season, which eventually netted him a scholarship coming into the current campaign.
"I'm happy with what I achieved because it's a big blessing," Singfield admitted, "I thank Coach Erickson and the defensive staff for allowing me to walk-on the team. It's been amazing, but I want to achieve more as a player and as a team."
Singfield's solid showing in fall camp is even that more impressive considering that the depth chart at his position is full of talented players, many of them upperclassmen. The senior said that the experience he and his teammates have is paying dividends.
"Being one year in the system that Coach Bums has, we just know more," Singfield explained. "He's an excellent coach and he told us that it takes time to actually break it down mentally. Now we're more into route combinations and formations.
"When you're a veteran and you know the system you can recognize a lot of things. This is how as a group we're getting better. Coach Burns is always teaching us on and off the field. I can't ask for a better coach. I learned so much from him and you can never know too much. He will always coach you up."
The senior indicated that he got stronger in the off-season and that he can read the quarterback's three and five-step drop better than he did this time last year. "It's a lot easier for me to break on balls," He said. "We've been focusing on coming up, pressing and tackling better."
Coming into the 2009 season, the maroon and gold are touted to be much stronger on defense than they are on offense. Even though Singfield and his teammates in the defensive backfield have been very impressive in fall camp, the cornerback knows that he and his comrades don't have an enviable task lining up against a very talented group of ASU wideouts.
"It is a challenge from the top (of the wide receivers' list) to the bottom," Singfield remarked. "(wide receivers) Coach Yarber is an excellent coach. If you can stop them consistently, he's so smart he will tell them what to do so they can beat you and then you have to start all over.
"But I look forward to that challenge every single day. We are out there competing and we don't want to be beat by the offense. It's great."
The overall swagger and confidence on the team are a sign that this ASU squad is resolved to put a 5-7 season behind them and prove that this record was nothing but an aberration.
"As soon as that U of A (regular season ending) game was over, you saw players in the weight room going hard. Last year we were a team, but we were on our own as individuals. We weren't as much of a team as we are now.
"Our coaches strive for excellence and we do too, and we basically coach ourselves and we'll tell each other ‘you can't be doing this. You have to do that.' So I've seen a big change."
Singfield's strong sense of motivation is coming in handy, as he is battling Terell Carr and Omar Bolden for reps in practice. Even though he has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time, Singfield isn't content to take a back seat role to finish out his ASU tenure.
"I'd love to be a starter," Singfield commented. "That's what I'm working for day and night. but I just want to make plays, to be honest. I do look forward to making plays more than anything, and hopefully I'm starting at the same time too."