Mike Whitelock: Utes should be loaded at running back

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  • bookonwomen Beverly Hills, CA
    May 24, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    Word is Tauni Vakapuna and Shawn Asiata are coming back next year for the Utes! That is Huge for the FB position!

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 11, 2011 12:43 p.m.


    I love the whole "young", "rebuilding", "inexperienced" excuses that have come out of Provo for the 7-6 debacle. Freshman QB yes, I will give you that one, but that is not the whole team.

    The same number of key players graduated from the U as did byU. The U has to deal with 2 or 3 underclassmen leaving early for the NFL though, something the coogs are "blessed" not to have to deal with.

    More young talent is coming in and Kwitt will put together another great team.

    Good luck with your "FAME AND GLORY"

  • Rock Of The Marne Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    MichiganCoog "BYU on to FAME AND GLORY." That was the funniest thing I had read in a long time. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Tommy2Shoes Lehi, UT
    Feb. 11, 2011 7:26 a.m.

    Not a very enlightening article. The comments are even worse. At this point who cares what happened last year or ever between these two former rivals. We play Sept 17 so neither squad should be at peak form or dinged up. Utes have a very good recruiting class and a few good running backs. Good for them. I hope Chow does a better job for you than he did for UCLA. Good luck in 2011. Beat USC, then we'll know you have a great football team. Never ever judge yourselves against us poor lowly Cougars again. We won't judge ourselves against you folks until you win the Rose Bowl.

  • pocyUte2 Pocatello, Id
    Feb. 11, 2011 7:01 a.m.

    Michigan coug,

    Love the spin. I'm sure it makes you feel better, but, may I refer you to my previous post for FACTS.

  • MichiganCoog Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 10, 2011 10:40 p.m.


    Enclosed for you, an obvious reality check: Utah...

    > dang lucky to beat a team chalked full of Freshman and Sophmores...
    > on their home field...
    > last second blocked kicks...to win BARELY..
    > Blind refs...
    > Lucky bounces of the ball...
    > Veteran team (so-called) barely squeaking by a very young team...
    > Next year, BYU spanks the Utes, sending them into a losing tailspin to finish their maiden voyage into the PAC12, 5-7 at best...
    > Two football (better yet), entire sports programs heading in opposite directions: BYU on to FAME AND GLORY, Utah? Into oblivion, fired basketball coaches, green QB's, RB's, Secondaries...
    > I think you get the point...

  • pocyUte2 Pocatello, Id
    Feb. 10, 2011 8:02 p.m.

    Cali coug,

    enclosed for your enjoyment.

    Utah BYU
    17 16
    10-3 7-6

  • Cali Coug Visalia, CA
    Feb. 10, 2011 5:13 p.m.


    Enclosed for your enjoyment!

    Team Stat Comparison TCU Utah
    1st Downs 23 11
    3rd down efficiency 10-15 3-13
    4th down efficiency 0-0 0-0
    Total Yards 558 199
    Passing 381 148
    Comp-Att 22-27 16-35
    Yards per pass 14.1 4.2
    Rushing 177 51
    Rushing Attempts 45 17
    Yards per rush 3.9 3.0
    Penalties 3-30 3-22
    Turnovers 1 4
    Fumbles lost 1 2
    Interceptions thrown 0 2
    Possession 39:06 20:54

  • Cali Coug Visalia, CA
    Feb. 10, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    We look forward to beating such a talented group of players in September.

  • ExecutorIoh West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 10, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    Quizz Rodgers ran for 63 yards on 18 carries(3.5 yd average) against BYU in 2009. If John White is like Rodgers, so what? Last year White had 1000 yds rushing for a community college, that really doesn't make you a D1 hero. We'll see it when it happens.

  • Big_Ben Centerville, UT
    Feb. 10, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    pocy and hedge,

    I agree. Conroy is competitive and fast. Hopefully he can settle into his role and hopefully mcgil can be the next RoJo. I thought Tap would have been better at strong safety. He was tall 6'3 and big (214) but just didnt cover the ground that rojo did.

    But, you cant coach speed and our guys have it. If they can play well, we have a great chance to compete right away in the Pac.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Feb. 10, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    We would really like to hear about the Asiata situation. Having a talented fullback was a great compliment last year.

    Vakapuna would be behind one or two freshmen, so there is really no impact with him gone (did we free up a scholarship with his departure?)

    Hope you come back Asiata. Maybe Matt can talk you into comeing back.

  • pocyUte2 Pocatello, Id
    Feb. 10, 2011 9:44 a.m.

    Hedge, I think you're right on that. I've heard a lot of good things about Wykie Freeman. The nice thing is, we have a ton of speed (young speed, but speed) in the defensive backfield with Payne and Terrell Reese.

    In my opinion, the key is Mcgill. Having a big, fast, rangy free safety is a huge help to the corners. We haven't had that player since Rojo. No offense to Tap, he just wasn't a true free.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Feb. 10, 2011 9:19 a.m.


    I agree with your anaylsis. I bit scary to start a freshman on the Oline but lets hope Asiata is as good as reported.

    I suspect the running game will be better utilized next year and will have an upgrade it talent.

    In my opinion the biggest ? ( outside of Wynns mental and physical health) is the CB positions.

    With Chapman and Burton gone that leaves on Conroy Black.... good athlete but was exposed big time last year. I suspect we'll see redshirt freshman playing big minutes at this position next year.

  • Big_Ben Centerville, UT
    Feb. 10, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    As far as the running backs go, I am sad to hear about Shawn Asiata and Tauni Vakapuna. I thought that in Norm's offense, they both would get more time as fullbacks. But maybe there was no scholarship for them.

    There is a lot of talent in the pool at running back. Admittedly, its unproven talent, but a lot of those guys were heavily recruited by other big-time schools. I have no doubt that someone will emerge and that the running game will be decent this year. Im not saying it will set the football world on fire, but I dont think it will be a season long struggle either. I think it will be just fine.

    GO UTES!

  • Big_Ben Centerville, UT
    Feb. 10, 2011 8:48 a.m.

    The Utes definately have some challenges ahead. Big challenges.

    Fortunately, both tackles on the O-line return. Bergstrom will be coming back for his third year starting at right tackle. Cullen was extremely average last year (graded out at about 70%, good lineman grade out at 80%, all-conference at 87-90%). But with a year under his belt and an offseason to get bigger (he was only 285 last year), not to mention a better o line coach this year. I expect him to get up into that 80% range.

    Tevita Stephens will in all likelihood move to Center. At 6'1" and 295, he is much more suited to playing center than guard anyway, so I think that its a good move.

    That leaves the guards. I am almost 100% sure that Sam Brenner will get one of those spots. He played extremely well in the Boise and BYU games.

    The other guard spot is going to be a competition. Dont be surprised if true freshman Isaac Asiata wins the job.


  • moodyblue77 Provo, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 7:07 p.m.

    I think you'll see split backs and the I formation. That's Chow's game. Fewer four or five wideouts. Mostly pound the ball, throw to backs, and then strike deep when least expected.

    Oliver sounds like a fullback, though many have projected Langi to play that position.

    It will lok a lot like what Ron McBride did to change the Utes from a WAC pretender to more of a PAC 10 team. Line play will still be the strength on both sides of the ball.

    Offensive line seemed to me like the key to the entire class. Two great guards.

  • MUSSing with U Baltimore, MD
    Feb. 9, 2011 7:00 p.m.

    No worries hedgie

    It'll really be

    3 of the last 5
    27 of the last 40

    If you do well, you might even get a chance to lose to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl, again.

    Harlines is still open; Collie and Max still connect on 4th and 18; and George is still running.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Feb. 9, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    "Just don't expect them to have great success against BYU's defense."


    Trust me, Kwhitt and Chow have much bigger fish to fry than the 7-6 kittens.


    And yes, the kick is still blocked.

  • Duckhunter American Fork, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 5:52 p.m.

    All joking aside that headline is a bit premature. None of the utes rb has done anything yet so proclaiming them "loaded" is more than a stretch. utah is also losing some offensive lineman and without good experienced o-linemen it is very hard to run the ball.

    I think they'll struggle this coming season. Much like wedgie wanted to tell Cougar fans last year how BYU had lost a bunch and would struggle utah is in that same predicament this year.

    It is going to be a bit tough this season.

  • MenaceToSociety Draper, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 5:49 p.m.

    I like the comments criticizing the D News for leaving things out of this article that are indeed in the article if you read it.

    Good recruiting class. Looking forward to seeing how they develop.

  • MichiganCoog Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    Hey Wedgie,

    LOL about all this awesome talent that is: UNPROVEN...as for the coogs you say we are salivating to have...WE HAVE! How about Drew Phillips, a 5000 yard rusher 2 years ago, from the thick of SEC country, 3 other upper classmen in DiLuigi, Quezada, not to mention Adam Hine (?) and other EXPERIENCED players that have already played Division 1 football for 2-3 years already...Your UTES? NO EXPERIENCE WHATSOEVER! We'll see all these supposed allstar RB's get eaten up by one of the best DL's and LB's corps in the Western US that did an awesome job stuffin your overrated Utes last September.

    Lookin forward to the butt-kickin your freshman RB's and good ole "deer-in-the-headlights" Wynnie in LES next September.

    Get ready for the hurtin on Sept 17th. Tell Chris B to not waste his time commenting!

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 5:15 p.m.


    Your 2 All-Conference backs couldn't combine for 100 yards rushing against BYU's defensive front and you think a JC transfer and a freshman will do that?

    If you guys were repeating a Mountain Worst schedule again I would be less worried about Utah's running game if I were a Ute fan. But having a JC transfer and a freshman breaking in as your new starters going into a Pac-10 schedule would have me a bit scared. But, they are good athletes, and I think they'll have good success in the future. They might just struggle this first year. Just don't expect them to have great success against BYU's defense.

  • Snack PAC Olympus Cove, Utah
    Feb. 9, 2011 4:59 p.m.


    No bone at all.

    The Utes are going to need the $$$ from playing in LES so they can afford to get rid of Boylen.

    Kinda like Utah State playing at Oklahoma for a money game.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Feb. 9, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    "btw, BYU's non-athletes are anxiously awaiting Utah's visit to RES in September"


    Ohh I'm sure donko and gang wouldn't be happy about that.LOL

    Just be happy the Utes threw the struggling tds a bone this year and gave them a worthy home game

  • AltaHawkFan Sandy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 4:00 p.m.

    utes are 'loaded' at running back ? hahahahaha riiight

    When your top 3 running backs are a JC transfer and 2 freshmen, you should be very worried. MAYBE you'll get lucky but more likely the utah running game will be a bit down this coming year.

    hedge - you should change your name to Crow because like they say 'you are what you eat'.

  • coachcarter Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    SportsFan, read your post. Utah can't visit RES, that is their home field. Utah can only visit LES, which they will do in September

  • Big_Ben Centerville, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 3:09 p.m.

    I really wanted to see more two back sets with Wide and Asiata last year. It happened, but not nearly enough. I hope this year we can get more of that, with Langi and White.

    I think it would be fun to see Langi line up as a fullback and then White at the tailback. Then have them both run to opposite flats. Have one sweep outside, one dive inside.

    A lot of possibilities.......

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 2:52 p.m.


    Aaron Rodgers didn't receive a single scholarship offer from a Division 1 football program.

    The only thing that matters is how a player performs once he gets onto the field.

    Aren't the Utes always bragging about their diamond in the rough walkons?

    You should be careful about annointing any untested player a star until he's actually done something.

    btw, BYU's non-athletes are anxiously awaiting Utah's visit to RES in September.

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Feb. 9, 2011 2:47 p.m.

    Anything to take the focus of your basketball program i guess.

  • pocyUte2 Pocatello, Id
    Feb. 9, 2011 2:46 p.m.

    Chow has also mentioned Luke Mathews to get a look at RB.

    Fitz, I wonder if they aren't looking at Lucky as more of a hybrid type player.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Feb. 9, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    Check out John Whites youtube video....sick.

    It's a pitty that the tds can't get this type of "athlete".

    Langi will get the blue collar yards but White will be a NATIONAL star.

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 2:14 p.m.

    A 24 yard run against the Lobos! Really? Now that is saying something! Whoever lands this guy should really have something! I mean, like how many running backs had at least that against the Lobos?

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Feb. 9, 2011 2:09 p.m.

    If you want up to date information on the Utes I suggest you look to the other newspaper. Honestly, is Bronko hiring the news staff as well?

    ESPN ranked the Utes the 4th best running backs class in the NATION.

    He tds, remember the name John White; he'll be haunting your dreams this fall.

    Utes might have some issues next year but the running game is not one of them.

  • B C Park City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 2:05 p.m.

    Why would the Utes give up so easily on a player who had a 24-yard run against the Lobos and finished the year with 79 yards on 19 carries?

  • govt rocks Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Seriously, does the D News writers leave their desks to write stories? two of the players listed are no longer on the team, and one who has a great shot at getting playing time is not even listed. Isn't the first lesson of journalism to ask questions?

    The lack of experience has to be a major concern for Utah. We all know how the last 5 games went for Utah. No running game means no wins. Hopefully one of the new guys can step up and play. I like Langi, but I think the JC kid is where the best chances of success area, at least until Langi can prove himself on this level.

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    Lots of raw talent.

    I look forward to seeing how Chow uses these backs. Hopefully they can establish the starters early though.

    Can't wait for football since bball is a mess!

    Go Utes!

  • Big_Ben Centerville, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    Interesting notes there: I hope That Asiata and Vakapuna are back. They are both bruisers. Both were walk ons, so maybe they didn't get scholarships?

    Otherwise, its going to be fun to see who comes out of it. I imagine that White and Langi split time. I would imagine that Oliver redshirts. Feel bad for Beau Bruton.

  • TheFitz Murray, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    Golfhack I have heard the same... I dont think they are still with the team.

  • Golfhack20 West Jordan, Ut
    Feb. 9, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    Can someone clarify if Vakapuna and Asiata are still with the team? I had heard that they were both leaving the program. Thanks!

  • TheFitz Murray, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    No mention of Lucky Radley? I like the talent at RB, we just need to get these guys some experience!