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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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Wynn makes his connections in Saturday's practice

Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn, who struggled to make long throws last year, hit several on the mark shots Saturday at the end of Utah's practice.

The effort, which included long passes to Kenneth Scott and Quinton Pedroza, boosted the quarterback's already soaring confidence.

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"It was a good first week," he said. "Offensively we didn't make a lot of mistakes and that is a huge positive and the arm feels great."

Even with receiver DeVonte Christopher sidelined with a slight shoulder injury Wynn found plenty of go-to guys, an element the Utes didn't always have in 2011.

"I'm very pleased with how the young guys have integrated into the program," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said."

The Utes put their kickers to the test on Saturday with both Nick Marsh and Coleman Petersen being called upon to make a series of kicks. When they missed, their teammates had to run.

Marsh seemed to have the better day of the two, but it sounds like Petersen will have plenty of instances in camp to prove himself.

"They need to feel pressure and we wanted to expose them to as much as we can," Whittingham said. "They handled it pretty good. I thought there were some they could have handled better, but they handled the vast majority for us."

The Utes added a receiver for their 2013 class with the commitment from X'avier Shepherd, a 5-foot-11, 175-pounder out of Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Calif.

Arizona, Cal and UCLA were among the schools Shepherd was considering. He is the 12th player the Utes have in their 2013 class and is the first receiver to commit.

Tight end Westlee Tonga, receiver Delshawn McClellon and defensive end Joe Kruger all missed part of Saturday's practice, however Whittingham said all the injuries are minor and none are expected to miss an extensive amount of practice time. Also sitting out was senior receiver DeVonte Christopher, who is expected back on the field on Monday.

Whittingham talks about the offense, the linebackers and where defensive end/linebacker Trevor Reilly will play this year in this video.

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