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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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O-lineman Stevens will have a new role for Utes in 2011

With lineman Po'u Palelei's chances of joining the Utes about "50-50" this fall and another lineman, Benji Kemoeatu no longer expected to join the team, the Utes are going to need some new faces to step up and carry the load along the offensive line.

One of those will be center Tevita Stevens, a 6-foot-1, 297-pound junior who has 22 starts on his resume after playing at right guard for two seasons.

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Center is considered his best position and the Utes will lean heavily on him, said coach Kyle Whittingham.

"Tevita, with Tony (Bergstrom) and John (Cullen) as our book ends are going to be the main guys," he said. "They're all going to get a lot of playing time but mentally they are ready for it and can handle it."

Whittingham said the coaches will wait a few days before deciding to move any players around to give the offensive line more depth.

"We'll take three or four days to evaluate and see where we are," he said.

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