Laura Seitz, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah concluded preseason camp without any fanfare.
Aside from a modified scrimmage for the younger players, Saturday morning's finale at Rice-Eccles Stadium was pretty much a routine practice for the Utes — except that it lacked full participation by starting quarterback Jordan Wynn (arm soreness) and several other projected contributors battling minor injuries.
Wynn and company are expected to be back on the field Monday, however, when classes begin and preparations for the Aug. 30 game against Northern Colorado intensify.
"Now we've got to start to polish our game and get all these guys that have been nicked up healthy and go into the opener at full strength," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, who noted that camp was positive for the most part and that guys worked hard.
"We had a couple of practices that weren't as sharp as others but we did not have a bad practice where it was just a disappointment. We did not have one of those," he said while addressing a variety of topics with reporters.
Whittingham said areas of concern going into camp are getting resolved and are works in progress. A new two-deep depth chart is expected to be in place Monday, he added, and preparations will move forward from there.
The Utes are scheduled to practice on their new outdoor field adjacent to the football facility next week. They'll do so with several roster situations materializing.
At quarterback, Wynn is entrenched as the starter despite not throwing the ball since Wednesday for precautionary reasons because of arm soreness. Whittingham said Wynn, who is healthy after shoulder surgery last fall, has been throwing fast balls throughout camp to get more zip on the ball and just needs to give his arm a little rest.
"I want to be out there on the field," Wynn said while reiterating there is no structural damage, just a little fatigue with his throwing shoulder. "But at the same time, I'd rather be out there against Northern Colorado."
Wynn expects to resume throwing again on Monday. Senior Jon Hays and freshman Travis Wilson are still competing for the backup job. Whittingham, though, said Hays is "more or less" holding an edge now after what he called one of the poorer days of camp by the quarterbacks who weren't very sharp with Wynn on the sidelines.
Wynn said it's no secret that the offense has to get better in two-minute situations. It'll be a primary area of emphasis in practice this week, as will general improvement in overall execution.
"This offense isn't just complacent with being good," Wynn said. "We want to be great and explosive and put up points."
Senior receiver Luke Matthews added that camp went well overall under new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson.
"At the end of the day, I feel like we got a lot put in," Matthews said. "Now we've just to sharpen up the little things, make sure we get all the little things correct and we'll be ready to go."
Finding new starting tackles to replace departed all-conference offensive linemen Tony Bergstrom and John Cullen was a priority going into the camp. Although it's taken time, Whittingham said the Utes are closing in on a solution.
If Miles Mason returns to practice Monday after missing significant time with a high ankle sprain, the senior will top the depth chart at left tackle. Junior Percy Taumoelau is the projected starter at right tackle. Freshman Jeremiah Poutasi will be Mason's primary backup, while Whittingham said 2-3 players are still competing for reserve duty behind Taumoelau.
A tight battle is brewing for the No. 2 running back spot behind starter John White. Junior college transfer Kelvin York is trying to fend off a serious challenge from redshirt freshman Jarrell Oliver.
- To serve or not to serve: BYU star athletes...
- Speculation begins about who the next Utah...
- Brad Rock: Jazz coaching hire — this...
- Utah Sports Ruckus: Grading the Jazz's...
- Dick Harmon: Former BYU basketball star Alan...
- Utah native Seth Wold led the Boston Marathon...
- Possible replacements as new Jazz coach
- U. student government passes resolution to...
- Jim McMahon closing in on graduating... 61
- Utah Jazz: Tyrone Corbin's contract... 56
- To serve or not to serve: BYU star... 39
- Dick Harmon: BYU's loading up with... 25
- Mike Sorensen: To keep or not to keep... 24
- Speculation begins about who the next... 24
- U. student government passes resolution... 21
- Utah Jazz: Plan's playing out, but... 19