Utah’s release of a midweek depth chart Wednesday sparked some wild theories about the unusual move.
Let’s set the record straight: It’s not a motivational tactic, and it’s not because Kyle Whittingham loves chaos. It’s because Assistant Athletics Director Liz Abel sends her weekly release out on Monday mornings and, at that time, offensive coordinator Dave Christensen was still analyzing the tape from last week’s practice.
Christensen’s most drastic moves come on the offensive line and at receiver.
Junior Jeremiah Poutasi switches from left guard to left tackle, where he started as a freshman, and redshirt freshman Salesi Uhatafe is now listed as starter at right guard.
Starting now at receiver are sophomores Delshawn McClellon and Dominique Hatfield, who replace senior Geoffrey Norwood and junior Kenneth Scott, respectively. The move for Scott may reflect that he isn’t yet 100 percent and is currently held out of 11 vs. 11 work.
Senior Andre Lewis was dropped from the depth chart and is out for spring with an unspecified injury that is not expected to require surgery. Lewis was the recipient of a hard, low tackle from senior cornerback Wykie Freeman in Friday’s scrimmage and was in obvious pain before eventually standing up and walking off on his own power.
Other notes from the depth chart:
• Redshirt freshman quarterback Conner Manning is now listed as the No. 2 quarterback, ahead of junior Adam Schulz. Worth noting is that Whittingham said neither backup distinguished himself particularly in Friday’s scrimmage and that redshirt freshman Brandon Cox might have been better than both.
• There is no longer an "OR" between transfer junior running back Devontae Booker and redshirt freshman Troy McCormick, suggesting that Booker has jumped into the lead. Whittingham said after practice Tuesday that Booker reminds him somewhat of transfer John White in that he has played fairly well in spring but has the potential to make a drastic leap forward in fall.
• McClellon wasn’t listed on the depth chart at all prior to Wednesday. Nor was former quarterback Micah Thomas, a sophomore who is now listed as backup to junior Dres Anderson.
• Redshirt freshman Harrison Handley replaces junior Evan Moeai as the third tight end.
• And worth bearing in mind is Whittingham’s advice Tuesday: "Don’t ever believe depth charts."
— Matthew Piper
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