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Utah football: Utah's tight ends live up to expectations

Published August 23, 2012 10:59 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utes went into fall camp believing their tight end position was one of the deepest positions on their depth chart.

They ended camp more convinced than ever they have to get the tight ends involved as much as possible.

With David Rolf, Jake Murphy, Westlee Tonga, Kendrick Moeai and Dallin Rogers all having a good camp, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham deemed the group the physically toughest group on the team.

"They have a lot of talent, and we have to maximize that," he said. "You might see them all on the field at one time. They've been playmakers from Day 1 of fall camp through today."

While seeing all five on the field at one time might seem like a stretch of the imagination, it could be possible with the way the Utes expect to conduct their offense this year.

The tight ends will fill receiver roles and participate in a two-back set that should give the Utes a multitude of options.

Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn, for one, is enjoying the variations in Brian Johnson's offense.

"We have a lot of talent and veteran guys," he said. "We want to use all of them."

Back Monday

Wynn, safety Quade Chappuis and offensive linemen Sam Brenner and Miles Mason are among the injured players expected back on the field Monday. Wynn said he could have played Saturday if he needed to do so but wants to make sure he is 100 percent for the season opener against Northern Colorado on Aug. 30.

"I want to make sure my body is right," he said. "If I had a younger arm I might could have been able to come out and do it, but in the long run that isn't making it better, it's making it worse and I'm trying to get ready for two weeks."

Places set

If the Utes were to play today, Whittingham said Mason would start at left tackle and junior Percy Taumoelau would start at right tackle.

Freshman Jeremiah Poutasi would be Miles' backup while the other backup spot has yet to be decided.

Returning kicker Coleman Petersen has clinched the place-kicking duties over Nick Marsh, and Jarrell Oliver and Kelvin York are "1A and 1B" to be John White's backup at running back.

Briefly

Receiver Kenneth Scott left practice early with a shin injury that is thought to be minor. … Senior defensive lineman Star Lotulelei was back with the team Saturday after missing Friday's sessions to take care of family issues. … Whittingham will announce on Monday the status of Reggie Topps, a cornerback who was indefinitely suspended in the spring. Topps has been practicing with the team and has met all the requirements the coaches have set forth, Whittingham said.