Utah wide receiver Darren Carrington II said he carries no ill will toward the Oregon football program into Saturday’s game, which marks his first return to Eugene since being kicked off the Ducks’ football team over the summer.
Carrington played in 33 career games for the Ducks before being dismissed from the program by coach Willie Taggert two weeks after being charged with a DUI in July stemming from an incident in which he drove into a pole at a McDonald’s drive-thru. Carrington reached a pleaa deal in August that will get the charge dismissed, but it was the final straw in an Oregon career that mixed on-field success with off-field incidents.
Carrington was suspended for the College Football Playoff National Championship against Ohio State in January 2015, reportedly for failing an NCAA-mandated drug test. While serving a suspension during the first half of last season, he was cited by police for an open container violation.
Carrington was also investigated by Eugene police after a man told The Oregonian that Carrington shoved him hours after a game against Arizona State, causing him to fall and break his arm. Carrington was not charged.
“From the beginning, I wish it had gone differently,” Carrington told reporters this week. “I had spent my college years there. I wish I could’ve changed the outcome of what happened, but it worked out how it worked out. God’s plan is the right plan, so I’m not really worried about it.”
Carrington, 6-feet-2 and 205 pounds, had 43 catches for 606 yards and five touchdowns last season, and left the Oregon program with 112 career receptions for 1,919 yards and 15 touchdowns. He is spending his final college season with the Utes, whom he joined as a graduate transfer on the eve of preseason camp.
Utah (4-3 overall, 1-3 Pac-12 South) travels to Oregon (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12 North) with five games remaining in its regular season. Carrington is by far and away the Utes’ leading receiver with 45 catches for 649 yards and five touchdowns – Samson Nacua is next with 21 catches while the rest of the team outside of Carrington has combined for three touchdown catches.
“I mean, I’m still going here and this has been a good home for me,” he told reporters. “I don’t have no regrets on it, but everybody wishes everything could have turned out a little bit different. You’ve just got to take the punches and go along, go with it.”