Everything You Need To Know Regarding Utah Football’s 2020 Fall Camp Depth Chart
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Kyle Whittingham released his annual fall camp depth chart this morning so it seemed only fitting that Tom Hackett and Steve Bartle, hosts of the It’s Utah’s World podcast, break it all down.
The offensive line, as it does every year on every football team, will likely determine the overall success the offense has in 2020. Nick Ford has been moved to left tackle following his stint at guard, Braeden Daniels will do everything he can to maintain his left guard position but do not be surprised if Keaton Bills takes over that role. Orlando Umana remains as the starting center after serving well in the role a year ago. Johnny Maea slots in at left guard and Simi Moala remains at right tackle. However, if Maea does not perform early, it would not Hackett or Bartle if Bills was moved to the starting right guard. Big Bam Olaseni is still struggling to find himself a starting spot and will be eager to prove his worth during fall camp. Olaseni is listed on the two-deep behind Moala at right tackle.
Very little needs to be said about the running back position in 2020. It will be a committee approach with Jordan Wilmore and Devin Brumfield warranting most of the snaps. However, freshman tailback Ty Jordan may pop into the equation at some point in 2020 as well.
The 2020 wide receiving group is as deep as it has ever been at Utah since they joined the Pac-12 in 2011. The key for the Utes as they intend on challenging for yet another Pac-12 Championship will be maintaining Bryon Thompson’s health. Thompson is the best receiver Utah has and is a top-five receiver in the conference, however, throughout his collegiate career has struggled with injuries. Andy Ludwig spoke to the media prior to fall camp beginning and acknowledged that Britain Covey’s role in 2020 will change. Covey will be seen in the backfield, on fly sweeps, at the slot and on the outside. He is Utah’s swiss army knife ahead of the 2020 season as they hope to utilize the diverse skillset that Covey offers.
The QB battle will dominate most of the headlines as fans and media members do everything they can to gain some insight into the much-anticipated battle. Drew List, Cam Rising and Jake Bentley are all listed as “OR’s” on the depth chart, suggesting the race to find QB1 involved three players. The bottom line is Rising has the advantage because he has been with the program for longer, he is also better when it comes to running the football. But Bentley has 33 starts for an SEC team and has showcased his ability on the biggest of stages. His throwing ability is better than Rising’s which would suggest that Bentley will get the nod against Arizona to start the season.
Cole Fotheringham and Brant Kuithe. That is all.
As per usual, the defensive line is stacked. Mika Tafua, Hauati Pututau, Viane Moala, Pita Tonga, Maxs Tupai, Devin Kaufusi, Van Fillinger, Blake Kuithe, Miki Suguturaga and Xavier Carlton are all capable bodies. Utah has the luxury, yet again, to rotate heavily across the defensive front four and will likely be able to generate more pressure than most teams that rush five with just four.
Devin Lloyd is the man not only at linebacker but on the defense. He is their leader. Alongside Lloyd will be walk-on Hayden Furey and Nephi Sewell. Bartle states that Furey’s athleticism should not be underestimated as the 6’2 225 lbs sophomore “can move”.
Clark Phillips III is listed on the two-deep at the Nickelback position. But make no mistake, Phillips will start and play a key role for Utah in 2020. Bronson Boyd and JaTravis Broughton will begin camp as the starters at cornerback. Whittingham has also felt that Nickelback is a harder position to master the cornerback. As a corner, you are able to use the sideline as your friend, but when playing nickel you do not have that luxury.
RJ Hubert will handle the free safety role while Donte Davis will lock down strong safety. However, Bartle expects Nate Ritchie to ultimately take over at strong safety and play alongside RJ Hubert as the season rolls along.
Ben Lennon is your punter. Keegan Markgraf is your snapper. But there is a battle going down at the kicking positions with last year’s starter Jadon Redding fighting English native Jordan Noyes.
The Bottom Line
There is still an abundance of question marks across the entire roster. For Utah to return to the Pac-12 title game they will need a lot more luck than they did in the previous two seasons.
Too many players on the depth chart are yet to prove their worth when the lights come on. Which is scary for Utah entering the 2020 campaign. However, this coaching staff has proven the doubters wrong before.
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