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Utah football notebook: 'Clean' first week of practice thrills Utes

Published: Saturday, Aug. 4 2012 8:30 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah completed its first week of preseason camp with a two-hour practice Saturday morning at Ute Field. The Utes added helmets and shoulder pads for the first time as they work through the NCAA-mandated acclimatization period.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham acknowledged it was nice to get the pads on and bring some physicality to practice.

"I think we did a good job of staying on our feet and getting the work done," Whittingham said before noting that the first three days of camp went well.

Quarterback Jordan Wynn agreed.

"Offensively, I thought we were clean. That's kind of something you look for in the first week," he said. "You try to eliminate mental mistakes, and there wasn't very many."

The first week of camp has been a learning experience for the entire team, noted running back John White, and the team is taking it all in while working to get better each day.

The Utes will take Sunday off before resuming camp on Monday.

HANSEN UPDATE: It remains to be seen if freshman quarterback Chase Hansen will see any action this season before departing on an LDS Church mission in late December or early January. A shoulder injury that has been bothering the former Lone Peak High School star for a few years is being evaluated by the medical staff and may require surgery.

"It's not looking good as far playing this fall but we'll have a definite answer on Monday for that," Whittingham said.

If Hansen needs surgery, it'll take place soon so that the bulk of the extensive rehabilitation that follows would take place before his missionary service.

CALIFORNIA COMMITMENT: The Utes picked up a recruiting commitment on Saturday. Xavier Shepherd, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound receiver out of Lakewood High School in Carson, Calif., has accepted a scholarship offer from Utah — choosing the Utes over several other Pac-12 programs.

Shepherd and his parents made an unofficial visit to the Utah campus on Saturday.

Email: dirk@desnews.com Twitter: @DirkFacer

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