The Utah Utes say they still need to create depth at receiver. Andre Lewis, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound junior college transfer, is working hard to be that depth and is looking more and more like he could be a solid contributor this season.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson said Lewis has come on strong at the end of camp after missing most of the first week with a pulled hamstring.
“He is still catching up, but he is playing well; all of the receivers are looking better,” Whittingham said.
Lewis likes the praise, but he feels he still has a long ways to go.
“It’s a day-by-day process,” he said. “I’m still getting a lot of information and details from the returners and they are trying to help me get on the field as quick as possible.”
Lewis expects he’ll get eased into the rotation, but many believe, with his frame, Lewis could be an impact player once he finds his form.
Right now Dres Anderson, Kenneth Scott and Anthony Denham are listed as the starters, with senior Sean Fitzgerald thought of as the primary substitute.
Lewis said the biggest adjustment he’s had to make from the junior college level to Utah is in his technical form.
“In junior college you don’t worry so much about it and just go out there and do your thing, but here they are real technical with the blocks and everything,” he said. “It’s different but I’m working at it.”
Michael Walker, a 5-foot-9, 182-pound senior, is expected to start at safety along with returner Eric Rowe, Whittingham said.
“He kept working hard and never got discouraged or frustrated and has worked his way to the top,” Whittingham said of Walker.
As for corner Keith McGill, the senior has lost “75 percent,” of the weight the Utes want him to lose, Whittingham said.
“He is moving around much better,” Whittingham said.
For variety’s sake
It is sounding more and more like Utah will use several running backs, with Erickson noting Thursday he plans to “rotate” Kelvin York, James Poole, Lucky Radley and Karl Williams.
Erickson continues to be impressed with the way Poole is practicing.
“Great backs have great vision and he has that,” he said. “He makes some cuts other guys can’t make.”
Utah will hold its annual Fan Fest on Saturday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Every athletic team sponsored by the Utes will participate in the free event.
What we learned • Utah co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson said he plans to rotate Utah’s four backs.
Who looked strong • Senior Michael Walker continues to grow into a starting role at safety.
What is next • Friday marks Utah’s last two-a-day, but the Utes plan to go light to continue to taper for Thursday’s opener.