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Utah football notes: Utes lose standout CB Porter for the season

First Published Aug 13 2014 01:44PM      Last Updated Aug 13 2014 10:47 pm

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Defense tries to run down wide receiver Kenneth Scott during practice at Ute football camp Wednesday August 13.

A team can’t win a scrimmage against itself, but it can lose.

After a relatively injury-free first week, Kyle Whittingham announced Wednesday that sophomore Reginald Porter will miss the year with a knee injury sustained in Tuesday’s scrimmage.

"We didn’t think much of it when it happened," he said. "He didn’t think much of it. Looked good from an initial exam, but upon further examination, he’s done for the season."

Porter was most recently listed as a co-starter with senior Davion Orphey, and Whittingham said that he might have been Utah’s best cornerback to this point in fall camp. He’ll undergo surgery in a couple of weeks, he said.

"He was a guy we were counting on," Whittingham said.

Orphey and fellow starters Eric Rowe and Justin Thomas have also drawn rave reviews this fall, but at the very least Porter’s loss puts a significant dent in Utah’s secondary depth.

Safety Brian Allen (a receiver in spring) will now take reps at cornerback. So will sophomore wideout Dominique Hatfield, who will continue to practice on both sides of the ball.

But even though Hatfield isn’t new to the position — "He was the defensive player of the league in high school," Whittingham said — there’s a learning curve.

Shortly after dropping a Kendal Thompson would-be touchdown pass in the end zone, Hatfield pulled a black shirt over his red to guard senior 1,000-yard receiver Dres Anderson. The result: a pass interference penalty on Hatfield.

Freshman safety Andre Godfrey also had his left foot in a boot and was on crutches Wednesday. Asked about Godfrey, Whittingham said it’s not the policy to comment on injuries that are not season-ending.

Sam’s switch » Utah’s latest depth chart lists six co-starters at defensive tackle, and sophomore Sam Tevi isn’t one of them.

Check again next week. Not at defensive tackle, though.

Coaches switched the 6-foot-5, 295-pound Tevi to offensive tackle for Wednesday’s practice. Whittingham said his ceiling on that side of the ball is "very high."

"I think that’s probably his most natural spot," Whittingham said. It’s not the first time he’s been moved to the offense, but he asked coaches for one more shot on the defensive side. This time, it seems, the move is permanent.

Offensive line coach Jim Harding said Tevi will immediately push the guys he’s already been working with, due to his natural ability.

"I just threw him in there, and between Coach [Dave] Christensen and myself, we would yell what his assignments were," he said. "But he is a natural knee-bender. He shows some good athleticism, which is what we’re looking for at the tackle spot."



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