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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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Utes sign JC players

As expected, the Utah Utes signed three junior college players Wednesday, with tight end Greg Reese out of Arizona Western, offensive lineman Andrew Albers out of Orange Coast Community College and Davion Orphey, a corner out of Santa Ana Community College, all signing with the Utes.

Utah coach kyle Whittingham said all three players should compete for starting roles since the Utes lost key players. Albers could be someone who could step in at left tackle where the Utes graduate Sam Brenner.

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"He is a big, 6-7, 310 guy who has a lot of physical attributes," Whittingham said of Albers. "He could fill a big need for us."

Reese should compete for starting time at tight end with Utah losing David Rolf, Kendrick Moeai and Dallin Rogers and Orphey will help fill the void left with the loss of Ryan Lacy, Moe Lee and Reggie Topps at corner.

"The bottom line is each one was recruited to fill a specific need and they should come in and compete right away," Whittingham said. "We're obviously excited about all three of them."

Receiver Andre Lewis out of Diablo Valley College is expected to sign Thursday.

Whittingham said the Utes feel good about the way their 2013 class is shaping up, although they are still looking at potential recruits.

"You still want to look for the best players available at each position," he said.

Whittingham declined to comment on the news that Utah State coach Gary Andersen is taking the head coaching position at Wisconsin, saying he preferred to wait until the official announcement is made by the Badgers on Thursday.

- Lya Wodraska

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