Spring Day 5: Carrington biding time

EUGENE - The wait between taking the field for the final time as a high school athlete and the first time as collegiate athlete often feels like a eternity. That process is extended even more if the player is asked to sit a year, as freshman wide out Darren Carrington recognized this past fall.

EUGENE - The wait between taking the field for the final time as a high school athlete and the first time as collegiate athlete often feels like a eternity. That process is extended even more if the player is asked to sit a year, as freshman wide out Darren Carrington recognized this past fall.

Still, for Carrington, a highly touted prospect from southern California, the wait might just have been a good one, he reflected Wednesday.

"Honestly, for me it was probably one of the best things I could've gone through from a maturing and confidence standpoint," he said. "I was able really to gain confidence coming into spring ball."

That confidence came from going up against defensive backs Ifo Ekrpe-Olomu, Avery Patterson, Brian Jackson and Terrence Mitchell everyday as part of the scout team. The reps taught him the importance of physicality, he says.

"With them, they're top caliber players, so if you could do something against them, maybe you could do something against other teams," he said.

He's also moved inside to the slot position, he says.

Carrington's wait to see the field may drag out even further. Last week, in his first week of spring practice at Oregon, Carringotn landed awkwardly on his right hand. Carrington isn't sure of the extent of the injury, but it has kept him from practicing this week.

"I was kind of mad. I don't want to have to sit out this spring, it could be a big spring for me," he said. "I thought I was doing pretty good and then I don't even know…"

At this time Carringotn is uncertain of when he'll return, meaning an appearance in next month's spring game is up in the air.

That hasn't kept him from assessing his peers on the receiving corps, where an internal competition, which he calls "wide open", is currently taking place.

"We've been looking really good, really young and explosive. I think we should have a good year this year once we get 100-percent," he said.

Among those fighting for playing time is former Oregon basketball player Johnathan Loyd, who joined the team this week as a receiver.

Loyd was lethal return man in high school at Bishop Gorman (Nev.), and has shown some flashes according to Carrington.

"He's out there. He's learning the plays, and he should get in there more and more as we go. I think maybe he could help us be a good return guy."