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Utah Utes football notebook: Harvey Langi claims the top spot on the depth chart

Published: Monday, Aug. 8 2011 10:20 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's football team released a new depth chart Monday. It featured a lot of changes, including a break in the three-way tie for the top spot at running back.

Fans, however, shouldn't read too much into it.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said they're "just kind of shuffling the deck right now" and real changes won't take place until scrimmages are held.

"The depth chart will start to solidify after scrimmage one and again after scrimmage two," he explained. "The jockeying around right now doesn't mean a whole lot. We've got to see these guys in extensive live work to really get the evaluations we need."

Although Whittingham said there has been no significant separation at running back, freshman Harvey Langi is now listed ahead of John White and Thretton Palamo.

"That just means that they are testing me right now," Langi said. "It's not permanent. I can't just say 'I'm the guy.' The other two running backs are right behind me. Some days they're not behind me, they're ahead of me."

The three-way race may have swelled to four. Whittingham said that senior Tauni Vakapuna has entered the picture as a "viable candidate."

Other depth chart changes include Jeremiah Tofaeono's rise to the top spot at right offensive guard and Joe Kruger's move to the No. 1 position at right defensive end.

Derrick Shelby has moved to the left side and is listed as a co-starter with Tevita Finau. Dave Kruger and James Aiono are co-starters at defensive tackle.

Four players cracked the latest depth chart as backups — quarterback Jon Hays, wide receivers Dexter Ransom and Kenneth Scott, as well as stud linebacker Nai Fotu.

Place-kicking duties are being contested by listed co-starters Nick Marsh and Coleman Petersen.

MONDAY'S PRACTICE: Whittingham said the Utes took another step forward in Monday's practice at the baseball field.

"Obviously we've got a long ways to go," he noted. "But we're encouraged by what we've seen so far."

Standouts include safeties Keith McGill and Eric Rowe.

"I talk about them every day but they continue to make plays," said Whittingham, who also mentioned that wide receiver DeVonte Christopher and Vakapuna had good days.

Quarterback Jordan Wynn continued his progress as well. He told reporters that his surgically repaired shoulder is "hanging in there" and that his velocity and accuracy is good.

Chow was pleased with the offense's attitude and effort, but acknowledged that some procedure penalties put a damper on things.

"Maybe it was the day off. Mondays are tough, getting back in a routine," he said. "We've got a long, tough week ahead of us. They know it."

The Utes, who will sports full pads for the fist time Tuesday morning, have their first two-a-day on Wednesday and scrimmage on Thursday.

EXTRA POINTS: Freshman linebacker Jared Norris has been added to the camp roster in place of offensive lineman Po'u Palelei, a junior college transfer who has yet to be admitted to school. ... The Utes will host a "Social Media Day" on Aug. 18 from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on www.UtahUtes.com. Fans are encouraged to ask questions through Facebook and Twitter. ... Redshirt freshman Dres Anderson tops the depth chart at both receiver and punt returner.

email: dirk@desnews.com

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