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Utah football notes: LB Jared Norris hoping to fill big shoes for Utes
Utah football » He wants to follow in tradition of previous star linebackers.
First Published Mar 30 2012 11:36 am • Last Updated Apr 02 2012 10:40 pm

Even though he is just a freshman, Jared Norris knows all about Utah’s tradition of producing great linebackers.

"Stevenson Sylvester, Matt Martinez, all those guys set high standards," he said. "I’m trying to fit into their footsteps."

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So far the position is fitting him just fine.

Norris, a 6-foot-1, 230-pounder out of Bakersfield, Calif., has made several good plays in spring camp.

Right now he is battling for the starting spot at rover along with Dave Fagergren and Victor Spikes.

While a young group, the linebackers are promising to Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, who is encouraged by their progress.

"It’s going to be a strength for us again this year," he said.

Hearing that kind of praise makes Norris smile, but he also knows he has a long way to go.

"We’re still getting all the basics down," he said. "We’re working as hard as we can and hopefully it will all come together for us."

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It’s on Christopher

As the receiver with the most experience, senior DeVonte Christopher has been tabbed as "the guy," by Whittingham to produce when the Utes need a receiver to step up.

"This is his year," he said.

Christopher, who led Utah in receptions and receiving yards in 2011, said he is ready for the leadership role.

"I want to keep improving and show what I can do," he said.

Christopher finished the regular season with 38 catches for 589 yards and four touchdowns, then had four catches for 74 yards and a touchdown in Utah’s Sun Bowl win over Georgia Tech.

Different name, same game

Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn said Brian Johnson’s offense isn’t much different from Norm Chow’s, so the Utes have had to do little adjusting.

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