By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Alex Carrington is trying not to look ahead to a possible NFL career. But the NFL is sure looking closely at him.
Carrington, a Tupelo native, has one game remaining in his decorated career at Arkansas State. The 6-foot-5, 284-pound defensive end said he’s focused on tonight’s season finale at Western Kentucky, but there is much that lies beyond that game for him.
Every NFL team has trekked to Jonesboro, Ark., at least twice this season to study Carrington, according to ASU coach Steve Roberts. Draft analyst Mike Detillier has him pegged as a fifth-round selection.
While he doesn’t want to look that far ahead just yet, Carrington admits it’s on his mind.
“That’s a childhood dream, something I’ve always wanted,” he said. “That’d be an amazing feeling if I got that opportunity.”
His résumé suggests that opportunity will come.
Carrington was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a junior after leading the league in tackles-for-loss (19) and finishing second in sacks (11). He also had 53 tackles.
The numbers have dropped off a bit this year. Through 11 games, Carrington has recorded 34 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss (13th in the SBC), and five sacks (10th in the SBC).
“Alex has had a very productive year for us, and that doesn’t always show up in the number of sacks and tackles and tackles-for-loss and that type of stuff,” Roberts said. “Teams have certainly paid more attention to him this year, but he’s done a great job.”
High on his potential
Detillier expressed disappointment in Carrington’s production this season, but he’s still high on his tools and his potential. He expects Carrington to show out when he works out for NFL teams, and Roberts sees him as capable of playing at end or on the interior.
“They know he’s going to need some work in his technical skills and his ability to use his hands better,” Detillier said. “But when you look at him, you say, ‘ Man, this is how I want my defensive ends built.’ Because he is really put together, and athletically he’s got some skills.
“I think he’s a diamond-in-the-rough type player.”
And there are the intangibles. Carrington, who has a son, will graduate this month with a degree in psychology.
In November, he was named to ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-District VI team.
Carrington is equally studious with his craft, which means he’s very coachable. And he’s a solid teammate who doesn’t worry about his stat line.
It’s been a tough year for the Red Wolves, who enter tonight’s game with a 3-8 record (2-5 SBC). It hasn’t been an ideal senior year for Carrington, but the guy who got no scholarship offers from in-state schools thinks ASU has prepared him well for the future.
“I’ve had a good career,” he said. “I can’t complain about anything. I’ve got good coaches that have molded me into a good defensive lineman.”
A very good defensive lineman.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.