Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah offensive coordinator Norm Chow paid quarterback Jordan Wynn quite a compliment Wednesday afternoon.
"As far as the smarts are concerned, he reminds me a lot of Ty Detmer," Chow said. "(He has) the same stature, the same kind of fun-loving attitude, the same leadership skills and the same decision-making that Ty had and Ty was exceptional."
Chow made the comment after responding to a question about how Wynn stacked up against other quarterbacks he has coached.
"Just as good, just as good as any of them," Chow said.
Big praise considering Chow has coached three Heisman Trophy winners (Detmer, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart) and four other high NFL draft picks (Phillip Rivers, Steve Young, Jim McMahon and Marc Wilson).
Chow added that Wynn, who had shoulder surgery in December, is throwing every day and is ready to go.
The Utes open the season Sept. 1 against Montana State.
GAME-PLAN INSTALLED: The Utes are treating it like a game week. For good measure, they'll do it again before facing the Bobcats.
"We've got the game plan all in and we've repped it all week long," Whittingham said. "... We'll repeat it next week and then we'll be ready to play on Thursday."
Wednesday's practice went well, he added, and was actually better than Tuesday despite being less physical and in half pads.
Whittingham was especially pleased with the defense and the way guys moved around and did the things that are expected. The offense, he continued, was good both days.
KICKING CONCERNS: Whittingham gave Utah kickers Coleman Petersen and Nick Marsh the day off from situational work to "try to regroup and kind of circle the wagons." They did, however, do individual work in practice.
The competition for the place-kicking job will "crank back up" on Thursday.
"It's just a mental game and a confidence issue," Whittingham said while noting that both kickers have strong legs, talent and ability.
Unlike recent years with kickers like Dan Beardall, Louie Sakoda and Joe Phillips, he continued, the issue is unsettled.
A day after joking that he might put himself in the mix, Whittingham backed out of the competition.
"I pulled myself out. I took myself out of the running," he mused. "Good move. Good coaching move."
EXTRA POINTS: Thursday's practice is closed to the media. ... Saturday's "Fan Fest" is scheduled for 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Parking and admission is free. The football team is scheduled to arrive at noon to sign autographs. ... Cornerback Mo Lee is switching jersey numbers. He'll wear No. 5 this season instead of No. 17.
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