Byndom provides value to Texas secondary with skill, experience as opponents throw away from him

Peter Sblendorio

Senior cornerback Carrington Byndom refuses to take it personally when opposing quarterbacks target the receiver he is covering. In fact, he embraces having the ball thrown in his direction.

“Always,” Byndom said. “I’m a cornerback. That’s always a good thing.”

The senior thrives off of making game-changing plays when given the opportunity. Byndom boasts an impressive résumé of five interceptions, 27 passes defended and a pair of defensive touchdowns over the course of his stellar four-year career, and the Longhorns’ opponents seem to have taken notice so far this season.

“They really haven’t thrown at him much this year,” head coach Mack Brown said. “Everybody’s been going away from him. He’s been healthy this year and it’s been
interesting that a lot of people have gone to the other side and stayed away from him.”

While he has yet to force a turnover through six games this season, Byndom continues to contribute. He regularly matches up against the opponent’s top receiver, and senior safety Adrian Phillips said this opens things up for the rest of the defense.

“Whoever’s their best receiver, he’ll be on them,” Phillips said. “Having a guy like that, knowing you can put him on someone and knowing he’s pretty much locked up for the whole game, it brings a lot to our defense and we’re able to do a lot of things with that.”

In addition to starring as a shutdown corner, Byndom plays an active role in pursuit of the ball. The senior cornerback registered 10 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles in his first three seasons, and he recorded his only career sack as a junior last year.

As one of the most experienced members of the Texas secondary, Byndom also holds a leadership role on the Longhorns’ defense. Junior cornerback Quandre Diggs rooms with Byndom on road trips, and he said the senior cornerback served as one of his mentors during his first two seasons.

“He’s been a guy that’s taught me a lot,” Diggs said. “When I came in, he was one of the guys that took me under his wing. He’s one of the guys that keeps me focused and keeps me level-headed. He’s quiet, but when he does say something, everybody respects it.”

While he is not a particularly vocal member of the locker room, Byndom continues to lead the younger members of the secondary by offering positive reinforcement and setting a
strong example. 

“I know the younger guys look up to me with my experience,” Byndom said. “I just keep them going and keep them positive, and they do the same for me. I just continue to do what I can for them each game.”

Byndom figures to secure a job in the NFL after this season, but for now he remains focused on his time at Texas. The senior cornerback said the Longhorns’ biggest goal revolves around winning the rest of their games this season, and he believes doing this allows each of his individual goals to take care of themselves.

“It’s all about the team for me first, and I think the biggest goal for us now is to win out,” Byndom said. “The closest goal is just to win this week. It’s all about the team for me. All of the individual goals will come later, and as long as we’re winning games, my goals are fine.”

The senior cornerback remains dedicated to leading Texas to a Big 12 championship in his final opportunity to win the conference. The Longhorns’ defense must continue improving in order to achieve this, and no player figures to be more vital to this than Byndom.