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Utah Football: The Utes' special teams aren't quite Dunn

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27 2013 9:48 a.m. MDT

Scott G. Winterton

On a chilly November afternoon in Boulder, Colo. — and in the waning moments of his career — Reggie Dunn etched his name just a bit deeper in the record books.

After just one juke to the left and a thread through two slow-footed Buffs, Utah’s athlete broke a stalemate in the fourth quarter against Colorado, giving his Utes a season-ending 42-35 win and adding to his mark on history. Dunn’s 100-yard return marked his fourth of the season and fifth of his career, both NCAA records. In a five-win fall, Dunn’s fireworks were absolutely the highlight of the Utes’ 2012 season.

That firepower relocated across the nation, however, as Dunn is now a Week 1 hopeful for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Undoubtedly, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and special teams coach Jay Hill will exercise all the return game pyrotechnics they know to restore some sort of explosiveness Dunn left behind.

The focus is on three positions on Utah’s special teams in advance of Thursday’s opener against Utah State. The impossible race for Dunn’s position included controversy this summer, and the kicker slot features a world-class winter sports athlete seeking to restore recent glory to the position. The punter’s story is easily the most orthodox of the trio, though American football teams usually don’t see Aussies seeking to pin opponents deep in their own territory.

Special teams coordinator Hill enters his ninth year coaching the Utes and 13th on the hill overall. He currently oversees the running backs and has also led the tight ends and cornerbacks.

Rhett Wilkinson is a project manager for UtahPolicy.com and hails the true-blooded Aggies from Utah. The co-founder of magazine Aggie BluePrint.com, he's been an intern for the Deseret News and other publications. rhett.wilkinson@usu.edu | @wilklogan

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