Whittingham On Scrimmage, Depth As Utes Roll Into Week Four Of Spring Ball
Apr 11, 2023, 7:56 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah football is rolling into week four of spring practices as head coach Kyle Whittingham discussed the Utes’ first scrimmage and overall team depth.
Utah has a great shot at three-peating in 2023 as conference champions- something that has never been done in the Pac-12-era but will require a lot of work on the Utes’ part to accomplish given the returning depth across the Conference of Champions.
If you missed last week’s Whittingham breakdown, you can review it here. Otherwise, here is what the man in charge had to say about Utah football and the QB2 battle in week three of spring ball.
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Utah Football’s First Scrimmage Of Spring
General reports out of last Saturday’s scrimmage indicated Utah’s defense had a pretty good day while the offense struggled at times but had moments where they shined too. When asked about it, Whittingham seemed pleased with the overall effort, but of course is hoping for some steps forward after Utah scrimmages again on Saturday.
“The scrimmage went good,” Whittingham said. “Half scrimmage live-work and half just out with the ones. The ones are not going to have any live work the entire spring. The twos got some good live work, the ones executed well in their portion of the scrimmage which wasn’t live, but we got a lot accomplished. We did about 100 snaps plus special teams work. I thought it was a very productive day and we’re hoping to have another one this Saturday and take a step forward.”
Brandon Rose And The QB Battle
Whittingham had very positive things to say about backup quarterbacks Brandon Rose and Bryson Barnes while noting Utah is still waiting to get Nate Johnson back in the mix.
“Brandon Rose continues to progress,” Whittingham said. “Bryson Barnes is right on his heels. Nate Johnson is still not back on the field, so Brandon and Bryson are making the most of those reps- they are getting the extra ones. We would love to get Nate back out here and get him back in the flow. He’s missed two, three, four practices now so he’s fallen a little bit behind.”
Jaylon Glover Is Progressing
One of the more exciting prospects the Utes brought in last season was running back Jaylon Glover and he certainly had moments in 2022 where everyone understood why. Whittingham reported Glover has continued to progress and just might be one of the most improved players on the squad.
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“He is one of the most improved players this spring,” Whittingham said. “He’s had an outstanding spring session so far. He’s always had a great work ethic and attitude, but the game is starting to come to him. It’s slowed down a little bit and he’s really done some good things this spring.”
Thoughts On Someday Scrimmaging Against FCS Teams
One reporter asked Whittingham his thoughts about potentially moving to spring model where Division I teams scrimmage against FCS teams rather than going against themselves all the time.
“There are pros and cons,” Whittingham said. “I hadn’t heard that was imminent, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a scrimmage. Maybe it’s practicing against another football team- the NFL does it so I think we can get some benefit from it if it does come into play, but it’s not here, right now so I haven’t really given it a whole lot of thought.”
Overall Assessment Of Utah’s Depth
Whittingham was very positive when talking about the depth of his 2023 team, particularly the defense where he thinks they will be very strong.
“Very encouraged,” Whittingham said. “We have really good depth at every position and if we don’t right this second, by the time we add the guys this summer for what we will have for fall when the roster is all intact, it’s going to be a very deep defense. You’ve got to be ready to call on that depth in season because most years you will have to tap into it. We’ve got a lot of good players- a lot of good defensive ends. That might be the strong suit of the entire football team. No shortage of depth at this time on the defense. We’ve still got transfer portal windows to work through, but as we stand right now, today, we are in good shape.”
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Whittingham is also quite positive about the offense but was a little quicker to admit there is some bolstering the coaching staff would like to do to be even better prepared for the rigors of the game.
“A little thin at receiver,” Whittingham said. “That’s a concern right now. We’ve got to see if we can get that position bolstered. Other than that, the rest of the positions seem to have sufficient depth.”
In Regard To Tavion Thomas
It wasn’t a surprise Whittingham didn’t have much to offer immediately following news former running back Tavion Thomas is in jail on alleged domestic violence charges. The news broke while the Utes were at practice and as Whittingham put it, he has a current team of players to worry about.
“No,” Whittingham said. “I don’t know a lot of the details. My focus is on this football team here now and the players that are in the program. That’s my take on that right now.”
Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports
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