Eric Weddle: Former Ute all-American was 'a punk freshman'
On his first rep, Eric sidestepped Scalley. To save face, Scalley then did the same thing to Revill, "so Morgan wouldn’t look bad," Revill said. "Everybody was like, 'Hey this is warm-ups, freshman. Stop. Chill. Simmer down.'" When Eric faked his way past another teammate, Revill was finally fed up. "I said screw that, give me the ball, and I juked him."
Eric respectfully refused to back down. "If someone talked down to me, gave me guff, gave me any 'I am a senior and this is my team' garbage, I wouldn’t stand for it," Eric said. "If we had to fight or yell, I was going to fight and yell. I was not going to let them push me around. My whole focus was to play ball and start."
Jay Hill, a defensive graduate assistant at the time, described Eric the freshman this way: "He was extremely confident. ... He came across as a young, cocky, California egotistical kid, and a lot of older teammates were turned off by it. But he quickly earned people’s respect."
Eric impressed the coaches, especially when it came to understanding the Xs and Os. It had taken Revill most of his college career to learn Utah’s complicated defensive schemes. He said Eric comprehended the defense before he came to Utah.
"He was so knowledgeable," Revill said. "He knew the packages and everything else. I knew he would start by the middle of the season. It was unbelievable how much knowledge he had about the game."
"It was apparent from day one," said Kyle Whittingham, then Utah’s defensive coordinator. "He was head and shoulders above everyone else in that class in our agility tests and practices. He was the best safety, best wide receiver, the best everything."
Debbie Weddle, Eric’s mother, dreamed her son might start one college game by the end of his senior year. Weddle made that first start against Colorado State in the third game of his freshman season.
By the end of the season, Weddle had helped the Utes to a win in the Liberty Bowl and a Mountain West Conference title. He was also named a freshman all-American. His first year of college football may have surprised some, but his best years were yet to come.
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