Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham Highlights Freshmen, Underclassmen Stepping Up

Mar 29, 2022, 8:09 PM
Kyle Whittingham - Utah Utes vs. Washington State...
Kyle Whittingham head coach of the Utah Utes walks with his players during warmups before their game against the Washington State Cougars September 25, 2021 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY- Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham was pleased with his freshman and underclassmen’s effort during Tuesday’s media availability. The shirts and shorts were gone, and replaced by pads and helmets as the Utes moved into the live work portion of spring ball.

“It was good day,” Whittingham said. “It was the first day of live work in spring. Last week when we evaluated it as a whole we had three good practices. Nothing live, but we just put the pads on on Saturday. No tackling to the ground. Today we got to tackle and look at some guys for the first time in that situation and I thought they did well.”

Freshmen Stepping Up

Whittingham was particularly happy with how some of his new freshmen showed and what they bring to the table. Running back Jaylon Glover, Lander Barton and Brandon Rose were standouts in Tuesday’s practice getting a shoutout from Whittingham in the media scrum.

“Jaylon Glover looked good,” Whittingham said. “He ripped off about a 50-yard run. Lander Barton did some good things, our quarterback Brandon Rose did a few things. A lot of good things from some guys who we are getting a first look of live action from.”

Asked further about what Glover brings to the table, and Whittingham mentioned his maturity and work ethic as being particularly impressive so early in his collegiate career.

“He’s very mature,” Whittingham said of the Florida Gatorade Player of the Year. “He should still be in high school, but he has a tremendous work ethic. He’s organized in all facets of his life. I mean, he’s got things completely laid out as far as what he wants to do and his goals. We think he will be a very good player for us.”

Underclassmen Taking On More Leadership

The development of leadership early on in spring is one other facet of the 2022 team that Whittingham has been impressed with. Because guys like Britain Covey, Devin Lloyd, Nick Ford and Nephi Sewell head to the NFL every year, new faces are expected to step up, and according to Whittingham the underclassmen have done just that.

“That’s the cycle of college football,” Whittingham said. “You lose most of your leaders every year. Most of your leaders are upperclassmen, and so we have guys stepping up. Cam Rising is an outstanding leader. Brant Kuithe, him and Cam are both captains of the offense doing a great job. Clark Phillips is an outstanding leader. Devin Kaufusi, Cole Bishop even though he’s a true sophomore. We have a lot of leaders who it’s now their turn to step up and be vocal.”

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