Utah football: Kelvin York healthy, ready to claim RB spot
Running back Kelvin York still managed to quietly slip away, even with a larger than usual pack of media members at Utah's first fall practice Monday.
If he has his way, it will be one of the few times he goes unnoticed.
The senior running back may have a quiet nature, but he said he is determined to prove in fall camp that he can be the kind of aggressive back the Utes need to fill John White's shoes.
York missed the majority of spring ball with turf toe, a nagging injury he said took almost a month to heal.
"Everything is good now," he said. "I missed being out there in spring, but I'm ready to work hard every day and be a part of this team."
York played in eight games last year finishing with 60 carries for 273 yards and three touchdowns. He missed three games with an ankle injury.
Improved and impressive
Utah co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson said he is impressed by Utah's offensive line. The line was a weakness in 2012, but it is expected to be a strength in 2013 with Jeremiah Poutasi (6 foot 5, 345 pounds), Jeremiah Tofaeono (6-2, 320), Vyncent Jones (6-3, 305), Junior Salt (6-2, 325) and Siaosi Aiono (6-2, 305) tabbed as starters.
"That is a big front," Erickson said. "Those guys are huge and they have gotten bigger and in better shape than they have been. I like how they have improved."
Gionni Paul, a 6-2, 230-pound linebacker who started seven of Miami's last eight games in 2012, was among those in uniform with the Utes. He is expected to redshirt the 2013 season according to NCAA transfer rules, unless NCAA sanctions expected to be handed down to Miami allow transfers to play immediately.
Paul had 61 tackles in nine games last year. He was suspended for the FSU game then parted ways with Miami at the end of the season.
Offensive lineman Carlos Lozano (6-6, 380) remains sidelined until he meets weight requirements to participate in camp, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.
Receiver Andre Lewis pulled a hamstring two-thirds of the way through Monday's session, Whittingham said.
Lewis is in the running for a starting role, but he won't get it if he is sidelined, Whittingham noted.
"If you want to help us out, you have to be on the field," Whittingham said. "Being durable is part of being good like being fast, big and strong, so hopefully he will be able to come back quickly."