SEATTLE — Quinton Ganther had a good friend talk to Utah’s running backs Friday evening. A good friend, that is, who also happens to be an NFL star.
Marshawn Lynch, an all-pro running back for the Seattle Seahawks, spoke with the position group while paying Ganther a visit. Lynch and Ganther grew up together in the Bay Area and were teammates with Seattle in 2010.
Saturday’s game marked Ganther’s first trip back to CenturyLink Field since his playing days. The former Utah running back, who is now an administrative assistant for the Utes, appeared in three games for the Seahawks in 2010.
“It feels good to come back,” Ganther said as he arrived at the stadium Saturday. “It’s a good environment always.”
Ganther noted, however, that entering the facility as a coach made the reality of no longer being a player set in a little bit. Even so, Ganther enjoyed catching up with Lynch on the trip. Lynch was accompanied by current Seattle teammates Kam Chancellor, Chris Cleamons and Earl Thomas, as well as former NFL quarterback Josh Johnson.
“It was good to see those guys again and realize that you’ve got to enjoy it while you can,” Ganther said. “Because it’ll be over before you know it.”
Ganther played in the NFL for five seasons, including stints with the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills.
WATCHING WILSON: Utah quarterback Travis Wilson had a special guest at Saturday’s game against Washington. Jaime Ortiz, his coach at San Clemente High School, made the trip from California to watch the true freshman play in Seattle.
“It’s not too often you get one of your players from last year start in a Pac-12 game,” said Ortiz, who watches Wilson regularly on the Pac-12 Networks. “It’s really amazing to see him progress each game.”
Ortiz, who also attended Utah’s games against BYU and UCLA this season, added that Wilson has been very poised and under control as the Utes’ starter.
HERE AND THERE: Utah athletics director Chris Hill caught a commercial flight to Seattle Saturday afternoon. He didn’t take the team charter on Friday, opting to remain in Salt Lake City and attend the Runnin’ Utes’ 104-47 season-opening win over Willamette at the Huntsman Center.
“It gave me a chance to do that and still get up here in plenty of time,” Hill said. “Fun, busy but good.”Comment on this story
EXTRA POINTS: The Utes went to see the new James Bond movie “Skyfall” Friday night. ... Scouts from the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Jackson Jaguars, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings were credentialed for the game. So, too, was a scout from the CFL’s British Columbia Lions. ... Arizona has returned approximately 600 tickets to next Saturday’s game at Rice-Eccles Stadium. ... Running back Kelvin York (ankle) and retired quarterback Jordan Wynn were among the Utes who did not make the trip.