By: Kayla Mortellaro
TEMPE, Ariz.— Arizona State cornerback Lloyd Carrington found his way on to the Nagurski Trophy watch list (national defensive player of the year) and the Bendarik Award watch list (college defensive player of the year) based on his break-out play last season.
Carrington, a redshirt senior, started every game for the Sun Devils last year, averaging 4.6 tackles a game and totaling 58 tackles in all. He had a break-out game against Notre Dame in which he had the game-clinching interception that he returned for a touchdown. Carrington’s afternoon against the Fighting Irish also included a sack and eight tackles, which was good enough to earn him Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.
As a returning player for head coach Todd Graham, Carrington will be counted on to have a big season in the secondary, and he is excited with what he has seen from the team so far.
“Camp is going great, we are looking very good as a team, coming out and competing and just really improving every day and taking the next step in accomplishing our goal of winning the national championship,” Carrington said.
It is well documented how the Sun Devils expectation is to win a Pac-12 title in 2015. But the only way to achieve that goal is to have every player focused and disciplined at their position.
“The main thing is just going out and executing my responsibilities,” Carrington said. “Paying attention to the small details that come with playing my position and making plays when the opportunity is at hand. The main thing is just going out and giving it my all for my brothers that we are playing alongside of.”
Coming off a second consecutive 10-win season, with many returning players certainly helps to build chemistry. Carrington painted a picture that the team, and especially the defense really enjoy one another’s company, in which is translated on the field.
“We have a little bit of history, guys have been here a few years before and the young guys- you know, we do a great job of communicating, establishing great relationships with each other,” Carrington said. “No matter what position you play, we all know each other, we all have a great relationship. We know how to identify each other in our responsibilities within the defense. And that all goes hand in hand with communicating and executing on the field.”
Without a doubt, Coach Graham reestablishing the trip to Camp Tontozona has helped mold his team in to champions on and off the field. All of the players have bought in to the message and believe in the ‘Brotherhood’ above all else.
Graham and the other coaches certainly spend the four days in Payson, Ariz., teaching the players, conducting drills, and preparing the team for the start of the season. But one of the underrated aspects of Camp T is the camaraderie built off the field. The ‘Brotherhood’ is no longer just a term, it is a way of life for Sun Devil players.
“I know we really love going to the lake, or the fall, but a lot of times guys like to jump off the rocks into the water, which I don’t know is a very good idea to do,” Carrington said. “But we have fun doing it, we play baseball with each other, play a lot of card games. Really a lot of things that help build our camaraderie.”
ASU has a winning formula. The players are all-in with Graham and the coaching staff. But once again, despite the lofty goals, the team plans to take the season just one game at a time.
“We have a saying of go ‘1-0’,” Carrington said. “1-0 basically means, you know, coming out competing, getting better each and every day. A unity. Doing everything together, going through the good and the bad together. Just taking whatever may happen as a lesson and learning from it.”
Carrington certainly hopes 2015 brings success to Arizona State with a Pac-12 Championship and a National Championship. With the players ready to play for Graham, for each other, and rooted in a strong foundation; the Sun Devils have certainly given themselves a very good chance.