When you talk about talented high school athletes in Texas, Carrington Byndom’s name should be near the top of your list.
In addition to being a football standout, a 2010 Longhorn commit and a student with 93 grade average in the classroom, Byndom is proving that he is fully capable of performing at a high level in more than one sport.
Carrington Byndom added another notch in his belt this spring recently with his work on the baseball diamond by helping Lufkin, a school better known for its prowess on the football field, all the way to the Class 5A state championship game by playing an outstanding brand of baseball in the outfield.
Despite the Panthers falling to El Paso Socorro in the state final, Byndom has fond memories of a tremendous season. “It was a great season, a lot of excitement,” Byndom said. “Every game was a great game. I just wish we could have won it.”
With baseball having taken up a good chunk of his time this spring Byndom is now easing himself back into football. He got his first taste of action at the recent 7-on-7 state championships in College Station and said the transition was tough, but Byndom showed little signs of someone who has been almost exclusively devoted to another sport over the last five months.
“It’s a little different,” Byndom said. “There isn’t as much running in football and just the aspects of the game. I was a little rusty at the beginning but it’s starting to feel normal.”
Byndom showed the type of skill set that should allow him to make a smooth transition to cornerback in college, a move that Texas defensive backs coach Duane Akina plans on making. Byndom showed good range at safety and also looked very capable of being able to turn his hips fluidly and run with receivers down the field.
He makes playing defensive back look effortless, but Byndom said he is just happy that he is able to see the improvements in his game.
“It feels good to get better,” Byndom said. “I’m working on some of the little things I need to work on, so that’s good. Byndom’s busy schedule also kept him away from the Texas camp in June as he was one of only two of the Horns’ 19 verbal commits that was unable to make it to Austin for the weekend.
The No. 29 ranked prospect on the Inside Texas 2010 Top 100 said he still keeps in frequent contact with his area recruiter for Texas (offensive line coach Mac McWhorter) and he is trying to get to know his fellow commits. “Not as much as I want,” said Byndom on how much contact he has with the Texas pledges. “If I had gone to the camp then I might have a better feel for the guys but I’m trying.”
One thing has helped Byndom juggle his busy schedule is not having to deal with recruiting. Byndom was offered at the Feb. 8 junior day and after sitting on the offer for a while and getting offers from LSU and Oklahoma, his other top choices, Byndom pulled the trigger and committed to Texas in late February.
“The recruiting process can get frustrating with coaches calling and other things happening,” Byndom said. “To put that behind me is a great feeling, it’s a relief.”
Byndom also noted that despite not getting to see as much of Austin has he would like to have thus far, he likes everything the city and the university have to offer.
“Austin is a great city, I love everything about it. The school, academically and athletically, is great and that’s what drew me to it.”
Byndom will now get to try his hand at helping Lufkin High School to another run towards a championship this calendar year with football season now just weeks away from starting.
Recognized already in some circles as a preseason top ten team in Class 5A, Lufkin will rely once again on a ball hawking defense led by Byndom, who registered 86 tackles and three interceptions last season, while the offense breaks in some new personnel.
Lufkin is one of the few schools in Texas that year that doesn’t rebuild, they simply reload and Byndom knows that no matter what the circumstances are, Panther fans expect the ‘Pack to have success on the gridiron.
“Expectations are always high. We have our eyes set on a state championship and we aren’t going to settle for anything less.”