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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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Utah linebackers in battles for starting roles

Time to get down to the grind of camp now that the hype of opening day is behind the Utes. So what are we looking for today?

The offense has had a lot of attention, given the addition of Dennis Erickson to the staff, but the defense has some major holes to fill.

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Senior Brian Blechen looks like a solid pick to start at stud linebacker, but the other two positions are up for grabs.

Junior V.J. Fehoko (5-11, 225) and sophomore LT Filiaga (6-0, 250) are both listed as possible starters at middle and sophomore Jared Norris (6-1, 230) and junior Jacoby Hale (6-0, 230) are listed as possible starters at rover.

Fehoko has the most experience having played in every game last year and starting six. He finished with 30 tackles and a sack. Filiaga seems to be a rising star who is going to keep pressure on his teammates.

A member of the 2009 class who then went on a mission, Filiaga played in 11 games last year and finished with 32 tackles.

Overall, coach Kyle Whittingham has classified the group as young but talented. It's time to start seeing who has enough talent to separate himself from the rest.

- Lya Wodraska



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