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.”