SALT LAKE CITY — Francis Bernard’s first practice in pads with the Utes went well. The junior linebacker, who transferred from BYU, is adjusting to his new surroundings.
“He looked fine. He’s a quick learner I can tell you that,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “He’s absorbed a bunch of the defense so far. Obviously there’s more for him to learn, but he was functioning very well out there today.”
Even so, Bernard’s role on the team has yet to be determined.
“We’ll see,” Whittingham said. “There’s a group of six of those ’backers that are fighting for position and playing time and he’s one of those six.”
Seniors Chase Hansen and Cody Barton topped the depth chart going into camp. Junior Donavan Thompson and redshirt freshman Devin Lloyd were listed as the backups.
Since camp started, junior college transfer Bryant Pirtle and Bernard joined the linebacker group.
“Really, it’s about managing their reps right now and what’s going to be productive for them versus what’s going to be counterproductive,” said defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley, who explained that the late arrivals are being coached up on the defense.
Whittingham said that Bernard’s conditioning wasn’t bad, although it’s not where it needs to be. Bernard played several reps in a row and didn’t get tired. Whittingham added that he looked very fluid and very athletic.13 comments on this story
“He’s in better shape than I projected he would be,” Whittingham said.
EXTRA POINTS: The battle for No. 2 quarterback between Jack Tuttle and Jason Shelley is “shaping up,” according to Whittingham. They should have an answer Monday, but Whittingham added that it will not be announced publicly. A depth chart, though, is expected to be released later in the week ... Wednesday’s practice was the 13th of 25 before the Aug. 30 opener against Weber State ... Captains will be elected Friday night.