Utah Utes football: Kyle Whittingham likes what he sees on opening day of camp
SALT LAKE CITY — Jordan Wynn was surrounded by a large media contingent following Utah's opening session of camp. The junior quarterback said it was the biggest gathering of reporters he'd ever been around.
Welcome to the Pac-12.
"It was very good to get back out here and just get back to playing football," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "We've had all the offseason conversation about the new conference and this and that. It's nice to get back on the field now and just get down to business."
All the talk about the Pac-12 is positive, he insisted, but the team needed to get back on the field and just start playing.
They did, and in a manner pleasing to Whittingham.
"We were able to start hitting the ground running," he said while praising the players for getting "bigger, faster and stronger" in the weight room and for working hard in the film room as well.
"A very positive day in a lot of respects," Whittingham said after Thursday morning's practice concluded at the Ute Baseball Field.
Aside from too many drops by the wideouts and tight ends, Whittingham liked what he saw. Among the standouts, he mentioned, were safeties Keith McGill and Eric Rowe. Others include defensive end Nate Fakahafua and quarterback Jordan Wynn, who threw 79 passes in his first complete practice since having shoulder surgery in December.
"It's great to have Jordan Wynn back, that's probably the biggest positive," said Whittingham, who added that he liked everything the junior did while noting things like his leadership and the velocity on his throws. "It's been positive having him run the show."
Wynn is being limited to 100 throws early in camp for precautionary reasons. The situation will be re-evaluated each week to see how he feels.
However, it's currently a case of so far, so good.
"It felt good to come out and just kind of sweat with the guys, get in there and take some reps throwing," Wynn said. "Obviously my shoulder felt good. It looked pretty good to me."
No pain, no soreness.
"It was very good to see him throw with his natural motion and have the zip on the ball," Whittingham said. "That's what you're looking for, is the velocity on the ball and it was very good today."
So, too, were other things as the Utes opened the first of 20 camp sessions in warm, sunny conditions.
"It's nice to brush those cobwebs off, get back out here and run around on the field," said senior linebacker Chaz Walker. "Practice went good. Everyone was flying around. So it looked good today."
Speaking of flying around, sophomore linebacker Brian Blechen swallowed a bee and was stung in the throat early in practice. It swelled and he was taken to the hospital.
Whittingham, though, expects Blechen to be fine.
"Every year is a new adventure," Whittingham said.
The Utes resume practice Friday and Saturday morning while working through the NCAA-mandated five-day acclimatization period.
Utah camp report
DAY 1: The Utes practiced in helmets and shorts Thursday morning at the baseball field. It was hot and sunny.
STANDOUTS: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham noted the play of quarterback Jordan Wynn, safeties Keith McGill and Eric Rowe, as well as defensive end Nate Fakahafua.
INJURIES: Linebacker Brian Blechen was stung by a bee he swallowed and wide receiver Anthony Denham had an hamstring injury.
NEXT UP: Practice resumes Friday morning.
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