Where Utah Football Position Battles Stand Following Fall Camp
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah football team wrapped up Camp Kyle on Saturday with their second and final scrimmage in hopes of settling position battles.
The obvious battle in fall camp that stood out is the quarterback but Utah was also searching for a lead running back, a defensive end, filling some holes on the offensive line and figuring out the two safety positions.
After the scrimmage concluded on Saturday, head coach Kyle Whittingham met with the media and gave updates on those battles.
Whittingham was pleased with what he saw from Charlie Brewer and Cam Rising during the second scrimmage.
“Good stuff,” Whittingham said. “Doing a great job. We will definitely have a guy named on Monday. Probably release a depth chart on Thursday, one week out ahead of the game and go from there.”
Last year, Whittingham waited until just before the opener against USC to announce the starter. Would that be the case this season?
“We will give you a depth chart on Thursday,” Whittingham stated. “I guess we can play that game of either/or, I don’t know if that serves any benefit for us but Thursday you will have a depth chart of projected starters.”
Four guys are in the mix at running back, including Micah Bernard, T.J. Pledger, Chris Curry and Tavion Thomas. Whittingham feels good about letting the running back position sort itself out through the first two games of the season.
“No and that’s okay, it’s not ideal but it’s okay,” Whittingham mentioned. “It’s not as pressing as some of the other positions quarterback, o-line because we feel like we’ve got four really good ones and I’m fairly certain that those guys will separate themselves and sort themselves out in the first game or two and we’ll know who’s the primary guy.”
One defensive end position is set with Mika Tafua but the opposite of him on the defensive line is up for grabs with Maxs Tupai not playing this season. Van Fillinger, Xavier Carlton and Miki Suguturaga are all in the mix for that spot but all three will get playing time.
“Van right now has been with the ones and X (Xavier) will be the first guy in as of now,” Whittingham stated. “X was down for a few days with an injury and Van really made the most of that. Van, the light switch has gone on for him this fall camp and we’re expecting him to have a very solid year.”
With R.J. Hubert likely ruled out for the season with an injury and Nate Ritchie is off for two years on a church mission, Utah needed to find a strong safety to play next to Vonte Davis.
“Right now, Brandon McKinney is running with the ones with Vonte Davis, those two guys are the top guys and Kamo’i Latu and Cole Bishop are running with the twos and it’s a battle for that fifth safety spot still,” Whittingham said.
Utah will now turn their attention to the 2021 season when they open against Weber State at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday, September 2 at 5:30 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Network.