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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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Defense stands out in Friday's session

The linebacking position is one of the most unsettled areas on Utah's team. One of the guys pushing for playing time is freshman Jared Norris. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Norris snagged an interception in Friday's practice.

He is competing with Travis Still, Jason Whittingham and Dave Fagergren for playing time.

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"I am pleased with that group," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.

Jordan Wynn isn't the only player due back on the field Monday. Whittingham said he expects to get several players back, including safety Quade Chappuis and offensive linemen Sam Brenner, Miles Mason and Vyncent Jones.

Several of those could practice now, but Whittingham said he preferred to give them off to Monday to make sure they are completely healed.

Receiver Sean Fitzgerald left practice early Friday with an injured ankle. Defensive lineman Star Lotulelei missed practice to take care of some '"family issues," Whittingham said.

The offensive line remains a problem for the Utes, but Whittingham said freshman Jeremiah Poutasi has improved in the last three days.

While others might be gearing up to watch some high school football, the Utes have to stay away from Friday night's games due to NCAA rules. For Whittingham, that means he must miss the coaching debut of his brother, Cary, who is Timpview High's new coach.

The Utah coach called the situation "odd."

"Unfortunately I don't get to see him play," he said. "But I talked to him yesterday and they have a tough matchup but he feels like they are prepared well."

Timpview hosts Alta in the opener.

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