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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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New linebacker in the mix for Utes

Travis Still, a former defensive back, is going to stick with the linebackers. Still, a 6-foot-1, 203-pound freshman, has taken to his new position quickly, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Wednesday.

"He is raw, young and inexperienced, but he shows a lot of natural ability and instincts for that position," Whittingham said. "He has only been there a few days but in the short time he has been there it appears he has found a home."

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The linebackers are one of the few groups that have yet to sort themselves out on the depth chart.

"They are all performing well, it's not like we have a bunch who aren't performing well," Whittingham said. "We are just trying to sort them out."

The Utes had a better afternoon practice than they did in the morning, a session Whittingham called the worst of camp.

"They came out with more resolve and a sense of urgency," he said. "It was the kind of practice we needed to have."

The Utes received a commitment from an interesting running back Wednesday. Charlie Salesi Eteaki, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound running back out of Servite High School in Anaheim, Calif., committed to the Utes as part of their 2013 class. He had offers from Nevada and Sacramento State, not exactly big-time offers, but he fell off some of the recruiting radar last year after he broke his collarbone.

He rushed for 494 yards and four touchdowns on 60 carries in the five games he played.

The feeling is he could be in for a big senior year and that the Utes might have snagged a budding star. He is the first running back the Utes have received a commitment from in the class.

Utah named its captains Wednesday. Defensive linemen Dave Kruger and Star Lotulelei were named team captains along with receiver Luke Matthews and running back John White.

Whittingham said the team takes its selection of captains seriously because they set the tone for the team.

"It's my experience in coaching that if you have to have all the leadership and experience coming from the coaches, you probably aren't going to be very good."


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