Spring Ball Review: A Look At Utah Football’s Running Backs

May 27, 2024, 11:51 AM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utes wrapped up a very productive spring ball that has fans antsy for the start of the 2024 football season.

All of the promise is there, and opportunities feel plentiful for an overall very experienced group heading into a new conference in the Big 12.

Unfortunately, there are a few months left till we can see it all come together for the Utes on the field, but for now we can go back and review the team in anticipation.


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Today’s focus is on another group that has produced a lot of NFL talent for the Utes- this time spanning decades. Of course, we are talking about Utah football’s running backs.

If you missed it, you can also check out the previous article about the Utes’ tight ends from position coach Freddie Whittingham.

Who Are The Utah Running Backs?


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What Running Backs Coach Quinton Ganther Had To Say About The Group After Spring Ball

The running back group has some solid returning talent along with some green up and comers that have worked hard according to Ganther and made progress through spring ball.

“What I have seen is the biggest transformation in the younger guys,” Ganther said. “They have taken steps forward which gives you a little hope they can help you in the season. The guy who I think is playing the most consistent right now is probably Charlie Vincent. He’s doing a lot of good things.”

So, who are some of the guys Ganther will be leaning on in 2024?

Micah Bernard Is Like An Extra Coach For A Young Group

Senior Micah Bernard is a running back who can do it all, partially due to his skill set and partially because he’s been with the Utes for a long time. That combination of course bodes well for a younger group that needs to learn fast.

“He knows the playbook better than I do,” Ganther joked. “How much more does he want to learn? With him- man, he’s definitely a coach in the room. There are a couple of tweaks in his game we’ve been working on this spring. I made it very clear to him before the spring started that if he wants to go to the next level- these are the things he will have to correct and fix. The thing I love about him is that he’s actually taken time to make those adjustments in his game.”


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Could Mike Mitchell Be Utah’s Newest Bruiser?

Mike Mitchell was a name we heard talked about a lot through spring as a potential replacement for Ja’Quinden Jackson who moved on to Arkansas in the offseason. Ganther thinks he has promise but is cautious in his praise.

“I want to answer this question very, very cautiously,” Ganther said. “I love the kid to death. He has the ability to be a good player for us but right now there are other things he has to work on to be able to help us out. I will continue to encourage him. I will continue to be there every step of the way with him while he works on those things.”


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Dijon Stanley Could Be The Spice In The Running Back Room

Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig was pretty high on Dijon Stanley and what he could bring to the offense. Ganther also had some impressive things to say about the young talent.

“Dijon Stanley has the chance to be the fastest guy on the field every time he touches the field,” Ganther said. “One thing about him is that he’s running the ball between the tackles, he’s getting yards after contact, he’s catching the ball really well out of the backfield. He has taken a step forward this spring and it was really good and encouraging to see.”

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Spring Ball Review: A Look At Utah Football’s Running Backs