CRIMSON CORNER

Utah Football’s Depth Chart Predictions Ahead Of 2020 Season Opener

Oct 25, 2020, 9:13 PM | Updated: Oct 26, 2020, 12:59 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah football’s fall camp is wrapping up this week and then the preparation will begin for Arizona on November 7 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

The Utes will have their many position battles settled this week but some will not be announced until closer to game day, primarily the quarterback competition.

As camp has progressed, head coach Kyle Whittingham and other players and coaches have told the media of standouts at certain positions. With that in mind, here is the Crimson Corner’s depth chart predictions ahead of the 2020 season opener.

Offense

Quarterback

Starter: Jake Bentley
Backup: Cam Rising

Reason: Through three weeks of camp, the quarterback battle has been neck and neck. Although, Kyle Whittingham didn’t say who the two players that were left in the competition were, I believe it’s down to Jake Bentley and Cam Rising. It’s hard to deny the SEC experience that Bentley provides but a lot has been said about the progress that Rising has made since playing for the scout team last season. I believe Bentley will be the starter for the opener but by the end of the season, Rising will have started a couple of games.

Running Back

Starter: Devin Brumfield
OR
Jordan Wilmore
OR
Ty Jordan
Backup: Micah Bernard

Reason: This position was very hard to predict because Whittingham said that none of the four running backs have really created separation. Unless something changes between now and the opener, it looks like the Utes will have a running back by committee approach. Brumfield and Wilmore have the most experience in the running back room but Whittingham has been very high on Ty Jordan and what he has been able to do in camp. I expect this battle to continue through the season until someone can separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Wide Receivers

Starter: Bryan Thompson
Backup: Samson Nacua

Starter: Solomon Enis
Backup: Devaughn Vele

Starter: Britain Covey
Backup: Money Parks

Reason: Utah will have six guys that will get most of the reps according to Kyle Whittingham. Two weeks ago, they were going to have 8 guys but with the departure of Jaylen Dixon and Tyrone Young-Smith suffering a season-ending injury, the Utes wide receiver corps. is down to six guys, including true freshman Money Parks, who has worked his way into the rotation.

Tight End

Starter: Brant Kuithe
AND
Cole Fotheringham
Backup: Dalton Kincaid

Reason: The Utes will have plenty of two-tight end sets this season with Brant Kuithe and Cole Fotheringham. Kuithe will also have some formations where he is in the backfield or on jet sweeps with Fotheringham in there to block or go out and catch passes. Dalton Kincaid is currently not eligible but Utah hopes to find out if he can play this season by the end of the week. I believe he will be eligible and will have an immediate impact on Utah’s offense.

Left Tackle

Starter: Nick Ford
Backup: Luke Felix-Fualalo

Left Guard

Starter: Braeden Daniels
Backup: Keaton Bills

Center

Starter: Orlando Umana
Backup: Paul Maile

Right Guard

Starter: Johnny Maea
Backup: Sataoa Laumea

Right Tackle

Starter: Simi Moala
Backup: Bamidele Olaseni

Reason: The offensive line is one of Utah’s strongest positions. The problem is getting the best five guys in their positions to thrive. Whittingham mentioned that the Utes are 10-deep on the offensive line. This is a strong group that will be a major factor on offense this season. Jaren Kump is also in that mix.

Left End

Starter: Mika Tafua
Backup: Xavier Carlton

Left Tackle

Starter: Hauati Pututau
Backup: Tanoa Togiai

Right Tackle

Starter: Viane Moala
Backup: Pita Tonga

Right End

Starter: Maxs Tupai
Backup: Van Fillinger

Reason: Mika Tafua, Hauati Pututau and Viane Moala are shoe ins for Utah on the defensive line. The emergence of Xavier Carlton and Van Fillinger will provide the Utes with extreme depth on the edges. Utah will go with the experienced Maxs Tupai to start but Carlton and Fillinger will definitely see the field this season.

Rover Linebacker

Starter: Nephi Sewell
Backup: Andrew Mata’afa

Mac Linebacker

Starter: Devin Lloyd
Backup: Sione Fotu

Reason: One of the concerns for Utah entering fall camp was finding the rover linebacker next to Devin Lloyd. My best guess will be Nephi Sewell who made the switch from safety last season to linebacker this year. Sione Fotu has played well in camp as has Andrew Mata’afa. Jeremy Mercier is also a guy to watch for this season.

Left Cornerback

Starter: Clark Phillips III
Backup: Bronson Boyd

Right Cornerback

Starter: JaTravis Broughton
Backup: Faybian Marks

Nickel Back

Starter: Malone Mataele
Backup: Aaron Lowe

Reason: Whittingham and the coaching staff started Phillips at nickel at the beginning of camp to get him comfortable with the position. Now, Phillips is getting most if not all of his reps in camp on the outside. During the scrimmage, Utah tweeted out a video that showed Phillips hauling in an impressive interception. Bronson Boyd has also been banged up at certain times in camp. JaTravis Broughton is Utah’s No. 1 cornerback according to Whittingham.

Free Safety

Starter: R.J. Hubert
Backup: Kamo’i Latu

Strong Safety

Starter: Vonte Davis
Backup: Nate Ritchie

Reason: R.J. Hubert is a shoe in to start at safety this season after showing signs of brilliance last season as a backup. Vonte Davis has some experience as well but Nate Ritchie has been a bright spot in camp. I think he will be a starter before the season is over.

Special Teams

Place Kicker

Starter: Jordan Noyes
Backup: Jadon Redding

Punter

Starter: Ben Lennon
Backup: Jared March

Kickoffs

Starter: Jordan Noyes
Backup: Jadon Redding

Holder

Starter: Ben Lennon
Backup: Britain Covey

Snapper

Starter: Keegan Markgraf
Backup: Noah Rodriguez-Trammell

Kickoff Returner

Starter: Britain Covey
Backup: Bryan Thompson

Punt Returner

Starter: Britain Covey
Backup: Toss Up (Ty Jordan, Samson Nacua, Money Parks, Clark Phillips)

Reason: The place kicking job is neck and neck right now. Whittingham said that Jordan Noyes has the more powerful leg of the two. Redding has the experience. When it’s all said and done, I think Noyes will be the starter. The rest is very easy to predict except for the backup punt returner. That spot was Jaylen Dixon’s before he entered the transfer portal. Now, four different guys are competing for that job.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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