There is a lot of pressure. Everyone is looking at you, expecting you to have a big game. Just focus on doing your job and everything is going to be just fine. —Kylie Fitts' advice to Darren Carrington
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah defensive end Kylie Fitts has some advice for wide receiver Darren Carrington on how to manage the pressure of playing former teammates.
“I’m going to give him some advice,” Fitts told Bill Riley on the weekly "Kyle Whittingham Coach’s Show" on ESPN 700 Tuesday. “Don’t let the emotions get to you. There is a lot of pressure. Everyone is looking at you, expecting you to have a big game. Just focus on doing your job and everything is going to be just fine.”
The California native originally chose UCLA over Utah, but after a year decided he’d rather play for the Utes.
“I wanted to stay close to home, so I went to UCLA,” he said. “But I didn’t fit in with the scheme; I didn’t fit in with the team, and I wanted to go somewhere I could be comfortable for the next three or four years.”
He said that transferring to Utah has been the right move, although last year was one of the most difficult of his life. He suffered a Lisfranc injury, which is when one or more metatarsal bones are displaced from the tarsus.
“Last year was probably the roughest time in my life,” he said. “About a week before I got my Lisfranc injury, my Grandpa passed away. So it was a really rough time. But, thanks to my teammates and my family, I got through it, and once I found out I had another year (due to a medical redshirt), I was ecstatic.”
He suffered a high ankle sprain in the Arizona game, but he has had limited minutes in the last two games and should be back to full strength against Oregon.
He said that despite the appearance — and the losses — Utah’s defense is better statistically than it was yesterday, and players and coaches are working hard to correct the issues that allowed Arizona State to put up 30 points against them last week.
“We know we’re a really good defense,” he said. “We came out today and had a good practice.”