Utah football: Utes feel good about first day of spring camp
Sitake noted that with the players not wearing a lot of pads you could really look at the defensive backfield and see the things they have done in terms of coverage. He credited safeties coach Morgan Scalley and cornerbacks coach Sharrieff Shah for doing a great job with the group.
“They seem a lot more improved but that was just day one,” Sitake said. “The goal is to do it every day.
Sitake added that senior safeties Brian Blechen and Eric Rowe are leaders with a lot of experience that have helped with that group.
“We’ll see how quickly these other guys grow up,” he said, then turning his comments to the younger players up front. “I thought they did well, but we’ll see when we get the pads on.”
SPECIAL TEAMS: Utah’s new special teams boss — Whittingham — has a simple approach to things this year. He wants the Utes to continue to be good at what they do well and improve their deficiencies.
“Special teams was a strong suit for us in most areas last year,” Whittingham said.
Punter Tom Hackett and kicker Andy Phillips are listed as preseason All-America candidates. Snapper Chase Dominguez is also back. Hackett was the holder on kicks.
“We need to continue to be efficient there like we were last season,” said Whittingham, who noted the Utes had work to do when it came to returning kickoffs and punts. He said they were just average in those aspects last season.
EXTRA POINTS: Whittingham said that defensive backs Reggie Porter, Justin Thomas and Rowe were among the standouts on opening day. ... Hackett drew praise for punting the ball exceptionally well. ... Quarterback Micah Thomas also saw action at receiver. ... Defensive end Moana Ofahengaue, who was critically injured in a motorized bike accident last month, is back on his feet and observed practice.
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