SALT LAKE CITY — Utah running back John White is hungry like — you guessed it — a wolf. The senior had no problems carrying the ball a school-record 316 times last season. In fact, the Wolfman has made it clear he'd take it every play if he could.
"Most definitely," White said. "I'm a running back. If you're going to feed me the ball I'm going to eat."
White's menu consists of running hard, running over people, putting juke moves on defenders and scoring touchdowns.
"If they are going to give me the ball that way and they trust me, I'm going to take it and run with it," said White, who broke a 29-year-old team record last season by rushing for 1,519 yards.
Former Utah running back Quinton Ganther, who is now an administrative assistant with the program, acknowledged that White is a special talent.
"What separates guys like him is his heart," Ganther said while raving about White's durability and willingness to do whatever is asked. "The guy comes to work every day. He works hard. He's our leader."
Although White hasn't seen any live work in camp, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said he's ready to go. The coaching staff, he explained, has treated White intelligently and kept him fresh because he's a proven commodity.
"We know what we get in John White," Whittingham said. "We know his durability as evidenced by last year. We know his work ethic."
INJURY UPDATE: With the exception of defensive lineman Junior Salt (broken foot), Whittingham is hopeful that Utah's other players injured in camp will be back on the practice field by the end of the week. Defensive end Jacoby Hale and running back Lucky Radley are recovering from hamstring pulls, while linebacker LT Filiaga and defensive back Tyler White suffered knee sprains.
NOW ON SCHOLARSHIP: White and quarterback Adam Schulz were awarded scholarships at the end of Wednesday's practice.2 comments on this story
"Well deserved. They're two really good kids," Whittingham said while crediting the former walk-ons for working hard and having strong showings in spring ball.
EXTRA POINTS: Whittingham expected to announce a dozen or so players most likely designated for redshirt years on Monday. … The remainder of Utah's practices before the Aug. 30 opener against Northern Colorado will be closed to the public and the media. … Whittingham has been disappointed with the kickoff coverage unit in practice and noted it's a "work in progress." The key to kickoff coverage success, he said, is to have speed and courage on the field.