Utah football: Wideouts Hatfield, McClellon make most of live reps this spring
Furthering the open and shut case against spring depth charts: Utah junior Kenneth Scott is listed as a backup receiver. Or, technically, the backup's backup.
That's not because Scott, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the Utes' opener against Utah State last year, isn't 100 percent. He could play today. And given that the team's "Spring Prospectus" bills him as an all-conference candidate, it's pretty darn likely not an indication of his abilities. But coaches have decided to be cautious and keep Scott out of live work, and as such: "I haven't seen him play," said new receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield.
Even as a 6-foot-3, sure-handed vocal team leader, Kenneth Scott will have to earn it.
"However, in the reps that he's been getting, I love the way he competes," Stubblefield said, later adding, "I expect there to be changes [to the depth chart] once fall camp rolls along."
The guys listed as starter are the guys who, thus far, have earned it in the live reps viewed by Stubblefield and new offensive coordinator Dave Christensen.
Senior Dres Anderson is one of those, coming off a 1,002-yard, seven-touchdown season in 2013. That probably goes without saying.
Joining him atop the depth chart are two speedy sophomores from the Los Angeles area, Dominique Hatfield and Delshawn McClellon, who have taken some pressure off Anderson and allowed Utah quarterbacks to stretch the field. Hatfield leads the team this spring in explosive plays, Stubblefield said. The team charts catch percentages and missed assignments, he said, but if you have enough "explosives," it excuses some mistakes.
McClellon previously had not been on the depth chart, and while Stubblefield said that wasn't intended as a motivational tactic, he said the only thing stopping McClellon from being "an extremely good player in this league" is himself. If he can sustain the mental toughness that he shows at times, watch out, Stubblefield said.
Scott said he's excited to rejoin that corps this fall not only because competition breeds success, but because receiver depth can be a nightmare for defensive backfields.
"There's going to be a lot of balls for everybody, so the defense won't have to key on one person," he said. "It's going to be fun to watch."
Senior Andre Lewis was dropped from the depth chart because of an injury sustained during Saturday's scrimmage that will preclude him from further work this spring. He is not expected to require surgery, however. Sophomore Brian Allen gives the Utes a second, Scott-sized downfield threat, and senior Geoffrey Norwood brings game experience to the group (and is also the team's punt returner).
"Every day's a competition," Stubblefield said. "Nothing's set in stone. Every day we evaluate the personnel. â¦ If there's any point where you feel your job is completely secure, then you get stagnant. You get complacent."