Monday's football camp opener was extra special for Utah sophomore Paul Kruger. The starting defensive end has recovered from injuries suffered in January when he was stabbed in the ribs and abdomen by assailants after leaving a gathering with friends in Salt Lake City.
"It's been an amazing experience to be as fortunate as I have been and am," said Kruger, who noted he's healthy and going at full speed. "I feel 100 percent, and that's important to me. That's crucial for me and this season."
Kruger earned freshman All-America honors in 2007 and was named to the Mountain West Conference's all-preseason team last month.
The accolades, however, aren't foremost on Kruger's mind.
"Right now, I'm thinking about Michigan (Utah's season-opener)," he said. "But as far as what transpired in the winter, it's basically a memory now. Physically, I feel great."
LATE ARRIVAL: Wide receiver David Reed, who caught 111 passes last season at Pasadena City College, has completed his academic requirements and joined the Utes for the first day of camp.
"He's got to get in shape. His fitness level is not the same as the other guys because he wasn't here all summer training with us," said Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig. "That may hamper his progress, but he'll learn fast and he'll get in shape fast."
As for Aiona Key, a transfer from Mount San Antonio College (Calif.) who also had academic requirements to complete, he could join the Utes as early as Wednesday. Whittingham, however, said it'll most likely be Friday or Saturday. The delay involves the posting of grades.
"The sooner Aiona Key gets here, the better off we'll all be," said Ludwig.
EXTRA POINTS: The Utes have split sessions scheduled again today. They'll have their first group practice on Wednesday. ... Junior college transfer Dudley LaPorte, a tight end, is not eligible to play this fall and plans to enroll at Utah in January. ... Nate Binks, a defensive end who signed with the Utes before serving an LDS Church mission, will join the team on the first day of school. ... A broken foot has sidelined offensive lineman Jordan Nelson, a redshirt freshman, indefinitely. ... Summer injuries will keep freshman offensive linemen Sam Brenner and Zach Davila from enrolling in school until January. ... Senior running back Ray Stowers has switched jersey numbers going from No. 24 to No. 2, which was worn by former Ute receiver Marquis Wilson.