Ro Torrence stepping up leadership in second season at Arizona State

Aug 15, 2023, 3:30 PM

Ro Torrence excelled on the playing field for Arizona State in 2022.

The Sun Devil cornerback had 36 tackles, eight passes defended and one interception in nine games in his first year at ASU. The Auburn transfer was one of the few standouts on a 3-9 Sun Devils.

Entering his redshirt junior season, Torrence does not just have lofty goals for on the field — he has lofty goals off the field as well: He wants to be a leader.

Torrence said he decided to become more of a leader after ASU head coach Kenny Dillingham challenged him to do so after Spring practices concluded.

“I challenged him post-spring ball,” Dillingham said. “And I challenged him. I said how good do you want to be? Like, you’re super talented. You’re 6-1, 6-2. You have an elite wingspan. You run 4.4 (second 40-yard dash). You have every measurable you can possibly have, right? … People going to find out your issues? How did you end up here? What was your path to get here? What got you here? Why didn’t you exceed at these other places? And you have to remove every single issue these people could possibly find with you. And part of that — the No. 1 thing you can do that with is leadership and work.”

According to Dillingham, Torrence has accepted the challenge of becoming a better leader and has improved greatly since the beginning of the calendar year.

“That’s a guy who is becoming a leader for the football team,” Dillingham said. “Like, incredible. Guy who put in the work this offseason. Challenged him to put in the work. He’s over here telling people to pick up their helmets on the sidelines. He’s over here telling people to finish and go to drills.”

Torrence gave a few examples of how he leads, saying he brings both leading by example and vocal leading to the table. He said he has been opening doors for people, picking up trash that is not his and telling his teammates to pay attention when out on the field.

Sun Devil veteran Jordan Clark, who is in the defensive backfield with Torrence, shared an example of how he has seen Torrence step up his leadership this offseason.

“During summertime conditioning … a tough thing for us … a lot of guys kind of feeling sorry for themselves at times,” Clark said. “And Ro doesn’t allow people to do that. Ro is going to make sure that he gets everything out of you because he wants you to be the best that you can be. So in those settings when things are difficult and there is adversity, that’s when he’s at his best.”

Freshman cornerback Keith Abney said Torrence has taken him under his wing like a “big bro.” He talked about how he is able to contact Torrence if he needs anything and mentioned that he sometimes stays after practice to do extra work with Torrence.

As for on the field this season, Torrence has a goal of playing in a game the Sun Devils have not been to in almost 30 years.

“As a team, I want to go the highest level,” Torrence said. “I want to go to the Rose Bowl. … Last time Arizona State going to be in the Pac-12 so I’d like to go out and win a championship.”

Arizona State Football

Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports...

Jesse Morrison

State of the Sun Devils Podcast: Did Arizona State football get a moral victory over USC?

On the latest edition of the State of the Sun Devils podcast, the guys react to ASU's surprisingly good performance against USC.

19 hours ago

Arizona State starting quarterback Trenton Bourguet...

Arizona Sports

Arizona State likely back to Trenton Bourguet as starting quarterback vs. Cal

Drew Pyne will be out for at least Arizona State's game against Cal, but Trenton Bourguet was reportedly back at practice on Tuesday.

1 day ago

ASU Head Coach Kenny Dillingham, Fresno State at Arizona State September 18, 2023 (Jeremy Schnell/A...

Aaron Schmidt

Arizona State’s Kenny Dillingham critiques himself over play-calling vs. USC

Taking over for Beau Baldwin as play-caller this past Saturday, coach Kenny Dillingham implemented an aggressive, yet creative gameplan.

1 day ago

Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports...

Wills Rice

ASU football battling moral victories vs. growth before 1st road test at Cal

ASU is coming off a positive performance against USC before traveling to play Cal, but is battling moral victories vs. growth as a team.

2 days ago

Caleb Williams...

Arizona Sports

ASU-Colorado matchup between Kenny Dillingham, Deion Sanders airing on Pac-12 Network

The Pac-12 announced start times and channels for Arizona State's football game against Colorado and Arizona at USC.

2 days ago

USC's Caleb Williams and ASU's Jalin Conyers (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...

Wills Rice

Arizona State just misses upset bid in loss to USC, Caleb Williams

The Arizona State Sun Devils fell short of their upset dreams with a 42-28 loss to USC at Mountain America Stadium on Saturday.

4 days ago

Ro Torrence stepping up leadership in second season at Arizona State