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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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RB position a mystery spot for Utes as they head into spring ball

Perhaps the biggest mystery for Utah's offense heading into spring is the running back position.

Kelvin York has first dibs on becoming the man to replace John White, but York is still a bit unproven.

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He played in eight games last year, rushing 60 times for 273 yards and three touchdowns as the Utes chose to give White the ball as much as they could.

White finished with 218 rushes for 1,041 yards and eight touchdowns.

Can York become the kind of back White was? He certainly has the perfect chance to prove he can in spring.

His backups on the depth chart are Lucky Radley, a junior who had 15 carries for 50 yards last year and James Poole, a sophomore who joined the team during fall camp.

Last week, Utah co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson said he wanted a good power back and also one who can catch.

On paper, York and Poole might be the combination for now. York is a good, powerful runner while Poole excelled in track at Saddleback College and showed during practice last year he has some good receiving skills.

Even with these three returning, the running back spot obviously was a concern for the Utes who signed their largest running back class under coach Kyle Whittingham with Devontae Booker out of American River College, Troy McCormick out of Houston, Texas, Marcus Williams out of Las Vegas, Nev., and Dre'Vian Young out of Houston, Texas all signing letters of intent.

Booker was compared to White by coach Whittingham, who said he expected Booker to be a "good supplement" to York.

Booker obviously will want to come in and do more so look for that competition to heat up in the fall.

In the meantime, it is up to the others to prove their worth in the spring.

- Lya Wodraska

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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