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ASU Football: Kweishi Brown and Lloyd Carrington ready to fill vacancies at cornerback

Can the tandem step up against some of the best quarterbacks and wide receivers in the country?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Nine interceptions and 111 tackles. That's how much production the Sun Devils have to replace in the defensive backfield with the graduation of Osahon Irabor and Robert Nelson.

It certainly seems like it would be a herculean effort to undertake, but junior JUCO transfer Kweishi Brown and redshirt junior Lloyd Carrington feel like they are up to the task.

"We've got good guys on defense to fill in their shoes," Brown said. "Everyone is worried about the defense but honestly I'm not worried about it because I've been through this situation in junior college and in high school."

Brown transferred in from Grossmont College in El Cajon, California where he had 62 tackles, 16 pass breakups and four interceptions in 2013. He was ranked by ESPN as the No. 24 JUCO recruit in the country and No. 3 at his position.

Carrington meanwhile is the only returning corner with any meaningful snaps at corner. He played in all 14 games last season, recording 25 total tackles with one interception and one forced fumble.

He will be looked upon to show the younger guys the ropes and he knows he has that role to play.

"Obviously I have a position to come in as a leader right now just to help the younger guys come along and learn the terminology and the whole defensive philosophy," Carrington said. "I don't really feel like it's a weight on my shoulders just an opportunity to blossom and help the younger guys and the guys around me blossom as well."

The Dallas, Texas native would have had some help if Rashad Wadood wouldn't have transferred to Eastern Washington this summer. It was a move that Carrington said he didn't expect and it was a "big surprise" to him.

"I had no idea," Carrington said. He also mentioned that the two didn't even talk about the possibility of Wadood leaving prior to the transfer. "I knew he was unhappy at some point but I didn't think he would get up and leave."

Even though Wadood is gone, Carrington can't wait to play against the top quarterback talent in the Pac-12 such as potential Heisman Trophy candidates like UCLA's Brett Hundley and Sean Mannion of Oregon State.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "It's going to be a big thing for me to go up against top competition like that. With me being a corner and a competitior, I'm going to get a better look as far as my skill set and how I operate against players of that caliber."

While Carrington has had a taste of what it takes to play at the top tier of college football, Brown got his first chance on the first day of fall camp on Friday. Redshirt junior Solomon Means and redshirt freshman William Earley will also get a look at the starting spots, but head coach Todd Graham's move on Friday shows that Brown and Carrington should get the best shot.

Graham put Brown in with the veteran players instead of the newcomers.

"It was a lot different, it was very fast paced and just learning a lot of stuff but I just caught on really quick," Brown said. "You just got to listen to him (Graham), you gotta listen with your eyes and once you just listen you'll get it down."

Graham said Brown had to learn about 17 new techniques on Friday with the veterans, but if how he handled the pressure is any indication of his future success, the Sun Devils' defensive backfield will be just fine in 2014.

"He's smart. We have not had a guy who has the physical power and strength and speed at defensive back like he has," Graham said. "I thought he did a great job."

Even with Graham's pat on the back, Brown isn't taking any of the early validation about his performance for granted.

"I know there are still a lot of things I still have to improve in," Brown said. "I want to be the best and to be the best I got to do the extra little things and coach graham is all about the little things."