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The countdown is over, Utah opens camp today

Published August 2, 2012 6:12 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

True sign August has arrived, football teams take the field in preparation for another season! We will have a report from Utah's first practice later today. In the meantime, here is a look at special teams, an interesting position for the Utes. Utah returns kicker Coleman Petersen, who finished second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (18-of-25) and made a 38-yarder in a snowstorm to seal Utah's 30-27 overtime win against Washington State. However, the former walk-on had some struggles too, such as three missed field goals against Colorado, including one from 48-yards out with two seconds remaining that allowed Colorado to escape with a 17-14 win. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham stressed in the spring he wants more consistency. Backup Nick Marsh and Tom Hackett, a punter/place kicker from Australia who has joined the team as a walk-on, will get some chances in camp. Still, it's Petersen's job to lose. Marsh is penciled in to handle kickoffs while freshman Charles Henderson is slated as the punt returner and senior DeVonte Christopher is the kickoff return guy, with Reggie Dunn and Henderson also possibilities. All of those players have experience at those positions so the Utes should be solid there. Christopher was the Sun Bowl Special Teams MVP after returning two kickoffs for 97 yards. Dunn led the Utes for the season with 26 returns for a 23.6-yard average. Henderson averaged 12.6 yards as a freshman before he was sidelined with a knee injury.