SALT LAKE CITY — Spring break is over for the Utah Utes, who returned to the practice field Tuesday afternoon.
“Good to be back. They came back with a good attitude,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “Sometimes you come back after spring break a little bit lethargic, but they got after it. It was a great practice — made strides and now we’re looking at four straight weeks.”
Whittingham noted that the Utes will finish spring ball with the Red & White Game on Saturday, April 13.
“But no more disruptions,” he said. “We’ll just knock it out practice by practice.”
The offensive line is a position of note. Utah has three openings to fill.
“We’re making progress. We have a long way to go yet, but I thought today was a physical practice,” said offensive line coach Jim Harding. “We’ll go watch the film here in a little bit. I think it was a step forward, but we have a lot of work still to get done.”
Harding, who is also Utah’s assistant head coach, also had some insight on how the team looked in full pads after taking time off for spring break. He said they did come back ready, despite the hiatus.
“It was a little bit sluggish but I thought the kids fought through it and I thought overall it was pretty positive,” Harding said.
SPECIAL TEAMS BOSS: Cornerbacks coach Sharrieff Shah is no longer Utah’s co-special teams coordinator. In the wake of Justin Ena’s departure to Utah State, Shah no longer shares the title.
“We just consolidated that and coach Shah is now the special teams coordinator and we’ll just continue on,” Whittingham said. “He’s done a great job for us.”
NO WORD, YET: Whittingham said there’s been no word on the status of quarterback Cameron Rising. The Texas transfer, who is participating in spring ball, is seeking NCAA approval to become immediately eligible for educational reasons. He’s pursuing a degree at Utah (criminology) that Texas does not offer.
“We’re hoping to find out sooner rather than later,” Whittingham said. “But right now just playing the waiting game. We’re not giving him as many reps right now because of that. I mean, we can’t sink reps into a guy that we may not have being eligible.”
If cleared, Whittingham acknowledged Rising’s reps would increase. However, it could be a week or two before the Utes find out. Beyond that and spring ball would pretty much be over.4 comments on this story
“So it’s not a good situation but we knew the situation going in,” Whittingham said. “It wasn’t surprising.”
EXTRA POINTS: Senior linebacker Donavan Thompson is likely headed to another program. Whittingham said they wish him well and that the former Miami prep star, who made three starts for the Utes last season is “a really good kid.” … Whittingham said that the program has five scholarships open and that the transfer portal has made for a “different world.” … Senior offensive lineman Kyle Lanterman, who has been a walk-on since 2015, has been awarded a scholarship.