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Utah football: Matthews returns to receiver

Published April 15, 2011 12:14 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Junior Luke Matthews is back at his former position — receiver — after the Utes experimented with him as a fullback and a slashing player.

While the experiments didn't lead to a new role for the 6-foot-1, 206-pound Matthews, he doesn't view the time as lost.

"I'm more comfortable at receiver, but I can incorporate some of the running back stuff," Matthews said. "In the backfield, you learn to read the line, and I understand that more and the coverage of what we're trying to do."

Matthews, who had 18 catches for 289 yards and three touchdowns last year, said he feels comfortable in Utah's new offensive scheme.

"It's more power, so we're able to line up and smack guys across from us," he said. "I've tried to always be physical, so that whole attitude works with me well."

Matthews had four catches for 45 yards in Monday's scrimmage.

The Utes felt good enough about the depth of their receiving corps to try Matthews at fullback and move receivers Terrell Reese and Tyron Morris-Edwards to safety, but they ultimately decided that Matthews would best help the team as a receiver, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.

"He is a big body and can be a slasher, but he's going to spend most of his time as a receiver," Whittingham said.

Not backing off

Defensive lineman Joe Kruger has been one of the standouts in spring camp, which isn't too much a surprise given the talent of his older brothers, Paul and Dave. But the praise isn't tempting the 6-7, 260-pound Kruger to relax, he said.

"It's good to hear coaches are happy with me, but I know I have a lot of things to work on," he said.

Spring game details

Whittingham said after Wednesday's practice that Saturday's Red-White game would consist of two 10-minute halves, with the first half being played regularly and the second half being played with a running clock. All told, Whittingham said, the scrimmage should last 75 to 80 plays.

Of note

Lineman Vyncent Jones has a sprained knee and is expected to miss three to four weeks. Whittingham said that he should be healthy once summer conditioning starts. … Former Utes Robert Johnson and Stevenson Sylvester will hold an autograph session at the Fanzz store at The Gateway Saturday afternoon, approximately an hour after the conclusion of the Red-White game. … Red-and-white Pac-12 logos have been installed on the turf at Rice-Eccles Stadium, replacing the Mountain West Conference logos.

Tony Jones contributed to this report.