Bumphis, Utah Receivers Growing Together

Aug 17, 2022, 2:15 PM
Solomon Enis - Utah Utes - SDSU Aztecs...
Utah Utes wide receivers Solomon Enis (21) gains yards after catching a pass during a college football game against the SDSU Aztecs played on September 18, 2021 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY- If there is one weakness one could point to in Utah’s offense, most people would probably pick the wide receivers. Second-year wide receivers coach Chad Bumphis is out to change that perception, and by all accounts, his group is every bit as motivated as he is while they grow together.


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“I want to be a big part of why we are successful,” Bumphis said. “We got the guys to do it. We have the talent. We have everything you need from leadership, to guys who are learning how to do it the right way and my challenge to them is, ‘can you be so good that we can’t not get you the ball?’ Yeah, we have unbelievable players everywhere on offense. We have the best tight end room in the country. The running back room is loaded, but at the same time, if you are so good, we have to find you the ball. Make us want to get you the ball and so far in camp they have done that. They’ve stepped up and they are competing.”

Growing Together

Bumphis is the youngest coach on Utah’s staff at 32. Enough distance that he has authority, but close enough that he’s very relatable to the players. Bumphis also admits he’s been going through much of the same learning process as his (mostly) young receiver room being the newer guy on staff. He and his players have been learning everything together and Bumphis thinks there will be a noticeable difference from year one to year two.

“I feel like we are deeper room because the guys not only know their position, but they know other positions,” Bumphis said. “They understand the offense as a whole, they understand concepts, and it’s easier to get on the field.”

“I have a much better understanding of the offense,” Bumphis continued. “Coach Lud is brilliant, he’s like a mad scientist. We run a really good offense here and there are so many levels here to understand as to what we are all trying to get done. Again, I talk to my guys about the three stages of learning: what we are doing?, how to do it?, and then why we are doing it? We are all learning the ‘why’ as to where this offense is going to go.”

Show Me The Money

One of the young receivers in Bumphis’ room that has impressed is sophomore Money Parks. Veterans like Solomon Enis and Devaughn Vele, along with offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig have all been singing his praises. Bumphis was no different noting even Parks’ father has noticed a difference in how his son carries himself and handles his business.

“It’s so fun watching Money grow up,” Bumphis said. “That’s probably been the most rewarding part for me for this training camp. Last year coming in Money was very, very talented, trying to figure his way out and now Money has grown into a man. Doing everything you ask him to do. Making plays down the field- doesn’t matter. Whatever we ask him to do, he’s done it.”

“I actually had a conversation with his father,” Bumphis added. “Literally it’s almost bringing tears to my eyes over the phone just because you hear his dad talking about ‘that’s not the baby I sent to college’. He’s way more mature. His body has changed. Everything about Money this fall camp has been better.”

Hard Work And Leadership

The Utes have brought in some fresh blood to their receiver room and so far they haven’t disappointed according to Bumphis. Tao Johnson has been blazing fast and Sydney Mbanasor is an athletic specimen. Both young players have picked up the playbook well, and now Bumphis just wants to see them get comfortable.

“Tao is a grinder,” Bumphis said. “They wear these trackers and he’s hitting 21, 22 miles per hour sprinting over the summer so he’s a guy who can really go. He’s been a wide receiver for 12 practices now so every day he plays the position he’s getting better and I try to give him as many reps as I can moving him around to get comfortable. They have all done a really good job of coming in and learning the offense. Now it’s just a matter of how do we execute all of these concepts versus different looks and what are these looks designed to stop? Sydney is just freakishly athletic. You talk about his size- 6’6″, 210-215 and he can bend and run. With that length his catch radius is crazy and he’s got really good hands.”

Bumphis was also quick to praise his vets for really stepping up as leaders and being there to help guide the new talent. Solomon Enis, Devaughn Vele, and Jaylen Dixon are all expected to be big contributors this year, and their help in bringing the young guys along will only add to the depth Utah can roll out onto the field come game time.

“I can’t say enough about the leadership in that room between Solo, Vele, and J.D,” Bumphis said. “It makes my job easier because the young guys can go to those guys with any questions you have for me and they get them answered. They’ve done a good job of bringing those young guys along because those are some guys we are depending on helping us this year.”

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Bumphis, Utah Receivers Growing Together