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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 football camp round-up — Reginald Porter stands out at corner

On Day 1 of spring camp, the spotlight can shine more intently on what didn't happen.

While sophomore Reginald Porter did nab an interception, he dropped one as well. Guess which play Coach Kyle Whittingham mentioned after practice.

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Still, having his hands around the ball is important for Porter, who is hoping this spring will be his chance to seize opportunity.

"It feels good being in good position as a DB. You're never gonna get them all, but I got to get those in."

Porter is one of the corners in the mix for a starting spot. He had some early playing time last season but was a bit hampered by injuries, defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake said.

The Utes need him to step up in the backfield this year. He's worked to do that by improving his ball skills, trying to help the whole group do better than the three interceptions they got last year. At 5-foot-11, Porter may have some size mismatches against the Pac-12's better receivers, but coaches like his speed. On Tuesday, he was aggressive in breaking up passes in both one-on-ones and team drills.

"He's got the talent, now he's got to put it all together," Sitake said. "I just think he's chomping at the bit right now. And he's so young, he's got a lot more football ahead of him. If he keeps it up, he has a chance to fall in line with some of the great cornerbacks who have played here."

Porter said a good, but not perfect, first day is just fine by him. It shows him there's work to do, and he feels confident he'll get where Utah needs him to be.

"I think it just gives me confidence to let me know that if I come out everyday with the same mentality, nothing but good things can happen," he said. "That's what I got from Day 1: Just keep coming out with the same mentality and the sky's the limit."

***

OFFENSIVE HIGHLIGHT • Adam Schultz had one of the best passes of the day, a deep sideline route to Delshawn McClellon on a day when the secondary didn't let up a ton.

DEFENSIVE HIGHLIGHT • Nate Orchard reminded spectators that he's a freakish athlete by intercepting a pass from Travis Wilson right at the line of scrimmage.

STANDOUT(S) • Reginald Porter, with a nod to the defensive backfield as a whole. Interceptions in team drills made the unit stand out even as some have questioned the talent at the corner spots with Keith McGill going on to the NFL.

KEEP AN EYE ON • Intensity. The defense didn't hold much emotion back, getting chippy and talking trash even before the pads have come on. Said Kenneth Scott: "I love the way the defense came out here. I was like, 'OK, I like this. They should come out every day like this.' I just wish the offense had the same edge as they did, because they for sure came ready to play."

QUOTE OF THE DAY • "To be honest, my rehab was playing racquetball with my girlfriend. I'm not even lying with you, I'm being very honest. Racquetball helps me with my agility back and forth. She's really good. She beats me sometimes." - Kenneth Scott

Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon



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