When ASU senior cornerback Pierre Singfield went down in the end zone after a long pass last weekend, fans in the stands let out a collective “Oh no.”
Already without their No. 1 cornerback, junior Omar Bolden, the Sun Devils could ill afford to lose their other starting cornerback to injury.
Singfield came out, and in came Deveron Carr, a redshirt freshman who had never seen any meaningful game action.
To say Carr played well is an understatement. He recorded three tackles, but more importantly, he didn’t allow any big plays on his side of the field.
Singfield was cleared to return to the game, but the coaches decided to stick with Carr.
Now, Carr is practicing exclusively with the first team.
“He has kind of been jumping out in practice, and when Pierre went down, we decided to play him and he played good,” coach Dennis Erickson said. “Sometimes you don’t know until you get out there and give him a shot. He is a pleasant surprise. He has gone out there and played the game like he’s supposed to. [He’s] not supposed to play the game with any fear — just go out and have fun. Sometimes, it’s hard to do these days.”
For Carr, the nerves evaporated after one specific play.
“Well, at first when they threw me out there I was nervous, but when [Cal] ran a reverse to my side and I made the tackle, I felt pretty good,” he said. “I started feeling confident in myself. I had never really made any plays, and my coach always said: ‘Do your job and make the plays come to you,’ and I was excited because I made that play. I just played with confidence.”
Carr, who runs a blazing 4.34 40-time, was recruited as an athlete out of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, where he was ranked the fifth-best running back and the fifth-best cornerback in Arizona. He credits defensive backs assistant Eric Williams in helping him become a pure cornerback.
“When I get out of class, I text him and we go in and watch film,” Carr said. “He tells me what I should do right here, what checks I should make, and we come out here and we work on it during practice.”
The only bittersweet note of the Cal game for Carr was that his parents weren’t there due to a prior commitment. They had attended every home game this year except for the one their son played in.
“My parents were surprised the game they didn’t come I played 64 plays,” Carr said, laughing. “They came to every home game. They were like: ‘You play the only game we didn’t come to.’ ”
Last Wednesday, Carr was the No. 4 or No. 5 cornerback, depending on the day. One week later, he is looking to replicate a stellar performance as he prepares to start against USC.
And this time, his parents will be there.
Erickson announced following Tuesday’s practice that sophomore wide receiver T.J. Simpson, who Erickson had said was the team MVP earlier this year, will have surgery on his sprained ankle. Unless ASU makes a bowl game, Simpson’s season appears to be over.
Freshman defensive tackle Corey Adams will be out for the year after having surgery to remove a disc from his back.
Junior cornerback Omar Bolden and sophomore wide receiver Gerell Robinson each dressed but took limited reps on Tuesday.
Senior cornerback Terell Carr left practice early complaining of pains in his left side, and junior cornerback LeQuan Lewis was in a protective boot on Tuesday.
The game status of the injured players has not yet been addressed.
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