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Springs’ stock rises with fans, coaches

EUGENE — Arrion Springs put out a call for more Twitter and Instagram followers after his game-winning interception at Arizona State, but he figures the near-midnight finish on a Thursday night limited his audience.

“I got a good amount, but I can take a lot more,” the Oregon cornerback said Wednesday. “Royce (Freeman) has got nearly 40k and I have about 6k. There are a lot more Duck fans out there who should be following me, but that’s OK. I’ll wait.”

Springs intercepted Mike Bercovici in the end zone during triple overtime to finish off Oregon’s 61-55 win over the Sun Devils and then put on an entertaining show during his postgame interview. “You guys can ask me anything you want and it is going to be awesome, I’m feeling great,” he said.

Springs heard from plenty of friends and family members who stayed up late to see his first career interception.

“It was like a high right after the game, but I came down, I wasn’t on cloud nine for that long,” he said. “It was cool, but it was just one play. I have to make more and more.”

As many college athletes find out, some visitors on social media are more appreciative than others of Springs.

“Everyone was saying I was the greatest and then a couple weeks later, I was horrible,” he said. “These tweets are interesting; ‘Oh, you’re awesome’ when earlier the same guy said ‘You suck, you are the worst’. It is funny to me. People I know, strangers, they are all in the mix. High school coaches talking trash. ‘Hey man, I tried to call you’. I’m not going to answer your call, for what? I don’t want to talk to you.”

As for all Oregon defensive backs, there have been highs and lows this season on a defense that is allowing 318 passing yards per game, last in the Pac-12 Conference by nearly 40 yards.

Springs started the first three games of the year, but then lost his starting position in week four against Utah.

“I benched him,” UO defensive backs coach John Neal said. “He played really good against Michigan State, but then we had a bad game and he wasn’t playing well and wasn’t focused and things like that. So I said let’s try someone else and take him out, it wasn’t working. He got back in there and since then he has played very well in the midst of statistical madness. He has played well. It is always hard to say that when you have given up so many yards, but all I can do is watch the individual performance and it has been really good.”

Springs was back in the starting lineup the following week against Colorado and has remained in that spot.

“I have been practicing way harder now, that was the moment,” Springs said. “I turned it up after being on the bench and got the fire back under me.”

The colorful Springs found a comparison in pop culture.

“It was like when Future broke up with Ciara and now he is killing it,” he said. “That’s kind of how it was for me.”

Springs’ own future includes a showdown against California quarterback Jared Goff Saturday night at Autzen Stadium.

“We have to be on our ‘P’s’ and ‘Q’s’ at all times,” Springs said. “Try to step up in the secondary to make the plays we need to get off the field. ... He’s going to test me. I’m going to give him some work, he’s going to give me some work so we are going to see how good I am and how good he is.”

Oregon's Arrion Springs (1) starts to celebrate after intercepting a pass intended for Arizona State's Tim White (12) during the third overtime last Thursday. AP PHOTO