August 16, 2008

Walk on corner competing for starting job

Pierre Singfield entered his sophomore season at Pima College in 2007 a pre-season All-American. By the time he finished the year, he sometimes wondered if any Football Championship Subdivision coaches even knew who he was.

A devastating winless season made Pima an afterthought in the minds of many, and Singfield felt entirely overlooked as a prospect, even as he earned first-team all-conference honors at the Tucson, Ariz., junior college.

"A lot of the coaches I talked to, they forgot Pima even had a program or the ones that did know just knew we were 0-10," Singfield said. "They were kind of like, 'We don't even want to deal with it.' Our stats weren't even on the internet and it just wasn't a good situation as far as guys being able to get recruited."

Determined to catch on somewhere and hoping to stay in the state, Singfield set Arizona State in his sights after watching the program win a share of the Pac-10 Championship in 2007.

"It was kind of strange. I prayed about it and was like, 'You know, let's try ASU," Singfield said. "So I called up there and told (ASU) I'm going to bring my film up. So I did that and I introduced myself and I told coach Cozzetto I was serious and I really wanted to play for his school. They called back like three days later and said they liked my film. So I just came up on a visit like three days later to see the coaches and they asked me to come out as an invited walk-on. It just kind of happened."

Singfield was a mid-year transfer, which allowed him to participate in spring ball, where he displayed impressive potential, including in ASU's Spring Game, where he had one interception, two pass deflections and two tackles.

Two weeks into fall camp, Singfield is the only walk-on working with the first-team, and he is in a legitimate battle with junior college transfer Terell Carr to start at the cornerback spot opposite Omar Bolden.

At 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Singfield has terrific size for the position and he's made as many impressive plays on the ball as anyone on the roster at the position group.

"Going to every practice, every day, not missing anything is basically the biggest part to me getting reps and improving," Singfield said. "If you want to get reps and get better, you can't miss anything. At this level, we're trying to compete for a national championship so you have to show up prepared every day. We hit film and we hit the books hard every day."

Singfield improved his physique this summer, dropping 13 pounds and he said he felt much better for it.

"The weight room is intense here," he said. "It's way different. At Pima we went like once a week as a team. Here, there's a lot more to it. You can't miss anything. That basically leaned me out and got me a lot faster and a little lighter."

Working with cornerbacks coach Greg Burns, Singfield said he has more confidence in what he's doing and it's shown on the field. It appears likely he is in the running to receive a scholarship for the spring semester in addition to being in the mix for a starting role this season.

"Things work for a certain reason. It's going to happen hopefully," Singfield said, when asked about the scholarship possibility. "The coaches give everybody the opportunity of earning a scholarship so it's cool.
We all work hard. I just want to go out there every day and compete, that's my mentality.

"Having the opportunity to learn from coach Burns has been great. It's the best technique I've ever been around. I've never had a [defensive backs] coach so I don't know too much, but I know it works. We've got some of the best receivers in the nation I've heard so if we can compete with them, we can compete with anyone."

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