After Darren Carrington’s arrest on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence on July 1, the wide receiver was dismissed from Oregon’s football team.
Carrington graduated from Oregon this past spring, and has one year of eligibility remaining. So, he can transfer to another school without having to sit out a season.
Multiple Pac-12 coaches have told The Oregonian’s John Canzano that they would be interested in taking in the dynamic, but controversial wideout. With that in mind, which Pac-12 schools would make the most sense for Carrington to play his final collegiate campaign?
Canzano also reported Wednesday that Carrington spent the day at Utah. The Utes lost their top target, Tim Patrick, to the NFL, and they could use Carrington’s talents to help bolster their receiving corps.
Carrington racked up 1,919 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in his three seasons at Oregon, and he would give Utah someone who can really stretch the field.
Utah’s coaching staff hasn’t been afraid to give players a chance at redemption either.
Garett Bolles joined the program despite a past that included drugs, violence and gangs. After a two-year mission and another two seasons at Snow College, the offensive lineman transferred to Utah and was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in his only campaign there. He ended up becoming a 2017 first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft when Broncos took him No. 20 overall.
Former Utah defensive back Dominique Hatfield is another example of someone who took advantage of his second chance in Salt Lake City.
Utah’s hole at wideout along with a strong locker room that can help players dealing with off-the-field struggles make the Utes a great option for Carrington’s next step.
Gabe Marks and River Cracraft are both gone, so it’s the beginning of a new era for Washington State’s pass-catching group. While Tavares Martin Jr. looks like a budding star after a strong sophomore campaign, Luke Falk could still benefit from another weapon in his arsenal.
Carrington certainly has NFL-level talent, so it can only help his football acumen to associate with a brilliant offensive mind like Mike Leach. Falk is an NFL prospect himself, and Carrington’s numbers can even exceed his freshman output with Marcus Mariota under center in Eugene.
Washington State’s campus would also be an ideal location for Carrington to solely focus on football, since there is practically nothing to do in or near Pullman.
With Washington State in contention once again atop the Pac-12 North, there are worse ideas than utilizing Carrington as a one-year experiment to help the Cougars over the hump.
What’s arguably one of the best ways to help a troubled athlete out? To have him play closer to home. His family resides in San Diego, Calif., and Carrington’s father played in the NFL for eight seasons.
Going after a player with severe off-the-field issues would certainly be a risk for a coach on the hot seat like Jim Mora. But the reward could be too enticing to pass up.
While the Bruins have one of the deepest receiving corps in the conference, Carrington would immediately become the team’s most talented threat at wideout. After surrounding Josh Rosen in his freshman season with weapons such as Jordan Payton, Thomas Duarte and Paul Perkins, a reason for his struggles in 2016 was the lack of talent at the skill positions.
With the opportunity to be closer to his family and play with one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country, this situation in Los Angeles may be too good for Carrington to pass up if it were offered to him.