Utah Utes football notebook: Prolific JC running back signs with Utes

Published: Thursday, Dec. 16 2010 11:30 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utes may have found the heir apparent to graduating running backs Matt Asiata and Eddie Wide. Los Angeles Harbor College (Calif.) standout John White (5-9, 195) has signed a letter of intent with Utah and is expected to enroll in school in January.

White, the Central West Conference Offensive Player of the Year, rushed for 1,491 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. He also had 21 receptions for 176 yards for the league champions.

"John really deserves it," Harbor coach Brett Peabody told The Daily Breeze (Calif.). "He was the conference MVP, the team MVP. Just a class act and a great player."

White had a stellar freshman season as well — rushing for 1,036 yards and 18 touchdowns plus making 47 catches for 470 yards and five scores.

GIVING BACK: Utah receiver DeVonte Christopher will be a busy man Sunday. The Las Vegas native will join his family in an annual tradition of feeding the homeless after church. They've been doing it for as long as Christopher can remember.

"My grandma is a real religious person and she always taught us that giving back to the community and being grateful is one of the key things in life," said Christopher, who is expected to be joined at the Salvation Army facility in North Las Vegas by 10-15 of his teammates.

Christopher added that his grandma spends most of the night before cooking and finalizing things.

FRESHMAN HONORS: The accolades keep rolling in for safety Brian Blechen. He's now been included on four Freshman All-America teams — Sporting News, Rivals.com, Phil Steele and CollegeFootballNews.com.

The three-time Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week was second in the league with four interceptions. Blechen is Utah's third-leading tackler with 61 stops.

"You couldn't have asked for anything more from a true freshman than we got of Brian this year," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.

EXTRA POINTS: The Utes practiced at chilly Rice-Eccles Stadium Thursday afternoon. They're scheduled to do the same Friday before practicing at UNLV on Saturday. ... Utah's bowl media guide features five Utes on the cover: Shaky Smithson, Joe Phillips, Christian Cox, Zane Taylor and Caleb Schlauderaff. ... Boise State is not practicing this week because of final exams.

e-mail: dirk@desnews.com

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