1 of 2
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Utah safety Brian Blechen (4), shown here last season against Oregon State, will miss the first three games of the 2012 season.

SALT LAKE CITY — Spence Checketts of 1280 The Zone is reporting that Utah safety Brian Blechen's three-game suspension for violating team rules is tied to failed multiple drug tests for marijuana use.

Citing anonymous sources with intimate knowledge of the situation, Checketts is also reporting that two other players face suspension and that Blechen is now under a "zero tolerance policy."

Utah senior associate athletics director Liz Abel said the university would have nothing to add to the initial announcement on Monday that read: "Junior safety Brian Blechen will sit out the first three games of the season (Northern Colorado, Utah State and Brigham Young) for a violation of team rules. Blechen will participate in practices throughout his suspension."

Blechen, who is scheduled to return to action on Sept. 22 at Arizona State, has been a major contributor on Utah's defense over the past two years — making 145 tackles and intercepting seven passes. He was named a Freshman All-American in 2010 and an honorable mention Pac-12 all-conference selection in 2011.

Junior Quade Chappuis now tops the depth chart as Utah's starter at strong safety. Junior Michael Walker and sophomore Terrell Reese are listed as the backups.

The Utes report for camp on Wednesday. Practice begins Thursday.

Email: [email protected], Twitter: @DirkFacer