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Mastering his trades: Utah senior corner Conroy Black

By Andrea Wilson

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Oct. 9 2011 3:47 p.m. MDT

“By the middle of my (last) season I only had a couple schools come look at me,” Black recalled. “But toward the end, that’s when I had a lot of schools coming at me and it got kind of hectic. Utah kind of came in late, but they were one of the early latecomers and that was the year they won the Sugar Bowl.”

The Utes’ No. 2 finish in the AP poll after winning the 2009 Sugar Bowl certainly helped Black decide to become a Ute, but so, too, did his recruitment by Aaron Roderick and Utah’s track record of sending defensive backs to the next level.

“I felt that out of all the coaches, (Coach Roderick) was being the most honest with me, and I really loved their defense. I knew they played a man-type defense, and that is what I played in high school. So, I knew that fit me well. I also knew a lot of their defensive backs had success in the NFL, and that was one of the main reasons I ended up picking Utah. It was a great choice.”

After redshirting his first year at Utah in 2009, Black went on to play in all 13 games of the 2010 season and was frequently the first defensive substitute. He racked up 19 tackles with one sack, three pass breakups and an interception.

This year, he has started every game at right corner.

“It’s great starting this year,” Black said. “Last year we had some veteran corners that I was vying for playing time with. (Lamar) Chapman won the starting job over me in camp, so I just played my role and took advantage of that. This year I was ready for the moment. I wasn’t nervous at all.”

With Utah joining the Pac-12 this season, Black is excited about not only showing what he can do, but also playing against the high-caliber teams in that conference.

“Playing in the Pac-12 is fun,” Black said with a grin. “I love it. I love these types of games, the competition. This is where we are supposed to be, anyways, and we are doing good. We just have to keep it going.

“Before it even started, I was really looking forward to this season,” Black continued. “But when you have Coach Whit (Kyle Whittingham) as your coach, you have to take it one game at a time. You have to look forward to every game because any game could be your last. Every game is a big game, every game is a Pac-12 caliber game. I look forward to every game, every Saturday.”

With each passing day he still knows he made the right decision.

“I think it is yet to come, honestly. I love playing here," he said. "It has worked out good for me. I’ve had my ups and downs — everyone does — but it’s my senior year and I think I am in the right position. I am just trying to do the best I can.”

Andrea Wilson is a Utah Athletics Communications Assistant.

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