SALT LAKE CITY — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham is fond of saying that the college football season "is a marathon, not a sprint."
A variety of things can happen, obviously, and players like running back Harvey Langi know it. Despite not being on the two-deep depth chart as the Utes prepare to open the season against Montana State, the highly touted freshman out of Bingham High School isn't about to throw in the towel — even if he isn't sprinting, figuratively speaking.
"It's a pace right now and I'm just trying to build on that pace," Langi said. "It's been a ride, but that's football and I love it. I love this university and this program."
Langi, who is behind junior college transfer John White IV and senior walk-on Tauni Vakapuna on the depth chart, insists he's grateful for the reps and time that are coming his way as a true freshman.
"I think I'm doing pretty good," said Langi, who is determined to keep stepping up every day. "Right now, I'm just trying to work my way up and earn some respect, get to know all of the teammates more — get a feel of all this."
Whittingham has been pleased with Langi's work ethic. He hasn't noticed any change in his attitude or demeanor since falling behind White and Vakapuna on the depth chart.
"Harvey has done nothing but work hard ever since he got here. He takes a very business-like approach. He's very serious," Whittingham said. "He takes football very seriously, which is good. Sometimes that can be mistaken for not being into it because he's so focused and concentrating on the task at hand."
Langi, who rushed for 4,289 yards and 55 touchdowns in high school, is determined to do everything he can for the team. The prep All-American graduated early and enrolled at Utah in January. He participated in spring ball and entered fall camp as a tri-leader on the depth chart with White and Thretton Palamo.
"I just take advantage of the reps I get, and I'm just grateful, actually, for the reps I get," Langi said. "It's crazy that I'm already here and taking some snaps with the ball with some ones, some twos. Right now, the only person that knows where I stand is probably our coach."
And Whittingham insists that things could still happen for Langi.
Remember, it's a marathon and not a sprint.
"The cream has a way of rising to the top and Harvey has made improvement virtually every practice that he's been here," Whittingham said. "A lot can happen during the course of a season."
Utes on the air
Montana State (0-0) at Utah (0-0)
Thursday, Sept. 1
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