Thanks to the NCAA’s elimination of two-a-day practices, preseason football camp has been extended to five weeks from from four, which Utah coach Kyle Whittingham described as “bordering on ridiculous” during Pac-12 Media Days.
The Utes took an extra day off to go swimming last Wednesday, and they limited Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage to players third or lower on the depth chart. The Utes will have a full scrimmage this weekend at Rice-Eccles Stadium, though it will not be open to media or fans.
While not a fan of the longer preseason, Whittingham said the camp structure hasn’t significantly changed the coaching staff’s evaluation process.
“You probably get more work now because you get a walkthrough for an hour with a ball, which means you can just about simulate another practice with that,” Whittingham said. “Of course there’s no pads, so you‘re very careful and making sure you don’t put your players in a compromising position.
“I think the rule change has not affected how you evaluate and how you go about your business as far as that goes. It’s just affected the timing and the schedule, those type of things.”
Carrington reaches plea deal
Utah wide receiver Darren Carrington II has reached a plea agreement in the DUI case that led to his dismissal from the University of Oregon earlier this summer.
Carrington, 22, appeared in the Eugene, Ore., Municipal Court on Monday on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of intoxicants and two other traffic offenses, a court official said. If Carrington successfully completes the terms of his yearlong diversion agreement, the misdemeanor DUI charge will be dismissed. He was also ordered to pay a $490 fine.
Carrington was not at Utah’s practice on Tuesday. Whittingham said he expected the wideout to be back on Wednesday.
“That’s something he’s handling,” Whittingham said, declining to further discuss Carrington’s plea. “We’re just concerned with how he behaves and acts when he’s in our program.”
The Oregonian was first to report the plea deal.
On Monday, Carrington also pleaded no contest to a charge of making an improper turn and was ordered to pay $175 fine. A charge of careless driving was dismissed.
Odds and ends
The media observation portion of practice on Tuesday featured special teams. All-American punter Mitch Wishnowsky will be a candidate to handle kickoff duties. “He’s more confident this year, and he does have the strongest leg of the group,” Whittingham said. … The offense continues to battle inconsistency as players become acclimated with first-year offensive coordinator Troy Taylor’s system. Taylor said he’d like to see better overall execution from all position groups, but he tempered his comments by pointing out there have been injuries, players coming back from injury and players just arriving on campus for preseason camp. … The Pac-12 Network was on campus this week shooting video footage and doing interviews for its training camp coverage.