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Utah football notes: Both Troy Taylor and Morgan Scalley to coach from field level

First Published      Last Updated Apr 15 2017 03:39 pm


In a dramatic departure from the last two seasons when Utah has had offensive and defensive coordinators coaching from on high, next season will likely see both down on the field.

Whittingham expressed that both Troy Taylor and Morgan Scalley won’t be in the press box next year, and that whoever is going to be up there remains uncertain.

Since his high school days, Taylor has coached his offenses from the field and did so last season at Eastern Washington (former Utes coordinator Aaron Roderick coached in the box while Jim Harding was on field level). Morgan Scalley coached from the box each of the last two years, but came down to the field for the Foster Farms Bowl last season and has decided to stay.




"On the field, I’m able to gauge [the players’] temperament — how they’re responding both positive things to adversity, and I’m able to communicate a lot quicker, and I’m able to reach a lot more of the players," Scalley said. "There were positives to me being in the box: You’re able to see things for what they are. But I just think the benefits of being downfield outweigh being in the box."

There’s also a strong chance Harding is down at field level as well — Whittingham has never played with an offensive line coach down in the box. That leaves Freddie Whittingham, Guy Holliday and Kiel McDonald as possible candidates to go upstairs on offense.

As for Scalley being down on the field, players seem into it.

"Such a different, because he can see everything down on the field," cornerback Julian Blackmon said. "He brings so much excitement. He loves the game. I love Coach Scalley."

NCAA changes • Getting ready for a spring game consumes a lot of time the day beforehand, but Whittingham said he was able to register some upcoming rule changes voted on by the NCAA Division I council on Friday.

The motions were significant: The NCAA is planning on adding an early signing date for high school prospects in December, which is when early enrollees currently sign. There’s added guidelines for hiring employees related to potential recruits and enabling coaches to recruit during camps and clinics. While the changes still have to be approved by the College Commissioners’ Association, it seems the NCAA is well on the way to adopting the alterations.

One of the biggest changes that will force Whittingham to make a decision is the addition of a 10th assistant, which will come into play in January 2018. The Utes currently have five coaches on offense and four on defense "which is how 90 percent of the country does it," Whittingham said. Given time, he’ll continue to evaluate where he’ll need a coach’s services.

"I really like the way our guys are doing on special teams now with Justin Ena and Sharrieff Shah, so I really don’t see a need for it there," he said. "We’ll have to see."

Briefly • Offensive line coach Jim Harding said that Scott Peck, who left Tuesday’s scrimmage with an injury, wasn’t available for the Red-White game, but could participate in Utah’s final closed practice on Tuesday. … Some former Utes in attendance at the game included current NFL players Paul Kruger and Nate Orchard.

kgoon@sltrib.com
Twitter: @kylegoon

 

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