SALT LAKE CITY — The Utes may have a new No. 1 receiver after former Oregon wideout Darren Carrington transferred to Utah.
The university confirmed Thursday that the senior is in Salt Lake City and will join the team but is not immediately able to be with the Utes on the field.
Coach Kyle Whittingham said there are “paperwork things” that must be completed with the Pac-12 and NCAA before Carrington is fully cleared as fall practices begin Friday.
Carrington was dismissed from the Ducks two weeks ago, soon after he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. Whittingham said Carrington will be on a short leash when it comes to discipline-worthy actions.
“It was very apparent and he would be the first to admit he has done some dumb things, made some bad decisions,” Whittingham said, “but he has got the right attitude right now and is bound and determined to put this behind him, move forward, try to have a successful senior year and then hopefully have a chance to move on to the next level.”
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound San Diego native steps onto the Utah team as the most experienced receiver on the roster. Last season as a junior, Carrington had 43 catches for 606 yards and five touchdowns.
“He is a terrific talent on the field,” Whittingham said. “One of the common denominators from all the people I talked to about Darren was his fierce competitive drive on the field, on the practice field. He’s just a guy that is the ultimate competitor and brings a toughness to that receiving position that will help us out.”
Eugene police have said Carrington was arrested after hitting a pole at a McDonald’s restaurant at 3:15 a.m. on July 1. In addition to DUI, Carrington was cited for careless driving and making an improper turn.
“It’s always a tough decision when you talk about a player that you are going to add to your program potentially that has a checkered past,” Whittingham said. “You have got to make a decision based on all the information you can gather, based on the athlete’s attitude. Is he remorseful, understand that he has done some stupid things and is ready to put it behind him? There is so much that goes into it and it’s a judgment call. You’re not always right but I feel in this case that it was the right thing to do to give Darren another opportunity.”