Chris Samuels,
Utah safety Chase Hansen (22) celebrates making a sack with lineman Kylie Fitts (11) during a Pac-12 football game versus the Oregon State Beavers at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.

With two weeks before its first game, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham was asked with which aspect of the team’s preparation he was most pleased.

“I would say the depth at defensive line,” he said without hesitation. “We’ve got 11 guys up front that we’re very confident in that we think are ready to play. The secondary is starting to come along. … We’re waiting to get (safety) Chase (Hansen) back. That’s kind of the missing piece of the puzzle.” If there is a concern, it’s the offensive line.

“The offensive line isn’t coming along as fast as expected because we’ve had to shuffle guys around because of missed practices,” he said.

In the last few days, however, he said they seem to be finding combinations that are more effective, and he’s certain they have the talent among the players in that group.


Whittingham said there will be a final decision on whether wide receiver Derrick Vickers will be joining the team this fall by Friday, Aug. 18. The California native signed with the Utes last winter while attending Bakersfield College.

He’d originally committed to Texas A&M, but then switched to the Utes just after signing day. He is also a return specialist with some running back experience, and he would be a nice addition for the Utes.