Utah Utes football: Team dons gear, prepare for two-a-days, scrimmage
It's evaluation time up on the hill.
After working through the NCAA's acclimatization period, the Utah Utes practiced in full gear Tuesday. And the tone of camp has changed.
"It's live work," said head coach Kyle Whittingham, who noted that there are no longer any questions about whether a tackle was made or if a guy was down. "It's all right there on tape. The best opportunity to evaluate is in the live situations."
Whittingham was pleased with what he saw on the first day. It remains to be seen what follows.
"Things don't get easier. It gets tougher. We go to two-a-days tomorrow (Wednesday), then we've got a big scrimmage on Thursday, a major scrimmage," he said. "It's the dog days of fall camp. That's what we are in right now."
QUARTERBACK UPDATE: The competition for Utah's starting quarterback job is still a "dead heat" according to Whittingham. He said that Corbin Louks, Terrance Cain and Jordan Wynn all made strides in practice Tuesday.
"They made good decisions for the most part and took care of the football for the most part," Whittingham said before re-emphasizing the importance of Thursday's scrimmage. "There will be a lot of weight placed on that."
TRIO OF ENDS: Utah is expected to rotate three defensive ends at opposing offenses this season. All-conference honoree Koa Misi is expected to be joined by a combination of Nai Fotu and Derrick Shelby.
"We'll get mileage out of all three defensive ends," said Whittingham, who added that specific schemes and packages will be created for each of them.
EIGHT GREAT: Whittingham said there's little separation between Utah's deep pool of receivers.
"We feel we've got eight guys who can play," he noted.
The latest depth chart features David Reed, Jereme Brooks and Aiona Key as starters. Luke Matthews and John Peel currently share another No. 1 spot, while Shaky Smithson, Elijah Wesson and DeVonte Christopher are the primary reserves.
EXTRA POINTS: Starting left tackle Zane Beadles spent much of Tuesday's practice in "The Pit" for precautionary reasons with a mild groin strain. ... Punter Sean Sellwood, who tops the depth chart along with Nick Marsh, has been sidelined with a hip flexor. ... Thursday's scrimmage is expected to consist of 100 plays.
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