Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah football team unveiled its new uniforms Wednesday as players donned their new red, white and black jerseys for the team's annual photo day.
Reviews were mostly positive, although some players complained about the snugness of the jerseys, which feature snow-capped mountains on each sleeve, have “Utah” above the number in front, and are accented by black trim. The Utes' red jerseys have the usual white trim.
“I love it,’’ said senior defensive end Nate Orchard. “I definitely love the mountains — it’s beautiful. It’s unique, judging from previous years. It’s fun.’’
“It’s different from last year, but it’s pretty cool,’’ said linebacker Jason Whittingham. “I like the mountains on the sides.’’
“It’s pretty different,’’ said junior running back Bubba Poole. “We all like them. They look good.’’
The Ute coaches weren’t available to comment on the new jerseys. In fact, coach Kyle Whittingham said after the morning practice that he hadn’t seen them and had no idea what they looked like.
NEW HELMET: Quarterback Travis Wilson is sporting what Coach Whittingham calls a “cutting-edge helmet” from Riddell.
“It’s a helmet that’s designed to do a better job of absorbing impact, particularly in the front,” said Whittingham, who noted that the gear is in limited stock right now. Wilson, in fact, is the only Ute to have one.
“If he likes it and it looks like it’s a good thing we’ll continue to put more of our guys in it as they become available,” he added.
Whittingham said that Wilson would probably be wearing the helmet even if he wasn’t sidelined with an intracranial artery injury at the end of last season.
“It’s nothing special for him. It’s just that we had one and it happened to fit him and so we put him in it.”
If everyone loves the hard-to-get helmets, Whittingham said that the whole team will eventually be wearing them.
WILSON PLAYING WELL: Whittingham had good things to say about junior quarterback Wilson and his battle with Oklahoma transfer Kendal Thompson for the starting job.
“Travis is looking very good. Travis has had a very good first three days. We expected him to be ahead of Kendal for obvious reasons. He’s got the experience. Kendal is doing a nice job as well. But very impressed with what Travis has done in these first three days.”
DRES, AS WELL: Senior receiver Dres Anderson also drew a lot of praise from Whittingham after Wednesday’s practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
“He’s a big-time receiver. We have a hard time covering him out here,” Whittingham said. “Our guys struggle covering him, as do most DBs.”
EXTRA POINTS: The Utes have yet to practice at their usual camp location, the baseball field on Guardsman Way, because of recent rain storms — prompting a move to the artificial turf at Rice-Eccles Stadium. ... No one has left the team since camp started on Monday. Some players, however, were removed from the initial roster. Freshman wide receiver Raelon Singleton will have season-ending surgery for an undisclosed injury and former Snow College defensive tackle Pasoni Tasini, the last recruit Utah was waiting on, will most likely not enroll in school until January. ... Whittingham said there’s a three-way battle brewing at running back between Poole, Devontae Booker and Troy McCormick. He added that Kaelin Clay may also see some action in the backfield.
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