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Utah football: Offensive line still not set for Utes

Published August 23, 2012 5:12 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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 thought they'd get some cohesiveness along their offensive line this week with the return of several injured players.

Unfortunately, that cohesiveness hasn't come as the Utes continue to look at options.

Right now, Miles Mason is slotted as the left tackle and Percy Taumoelau is slotted as the right tackle.

However, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said the Utes are looking at possibly using Sam Brenner ­­­— the starting right guard — at tackle, and backup Vyncent Jones at guard.

"It's a matter of is Bot [Taumoelau] better at right tackle than Jones is as a guard," he said. "We're working with a couple different combinations on that side."

The Utes have had the same lineup with which to work for the last three days, which has helped, but Whittingham believes it will be several weeks before they play as a unit.

"We have to get our best five out there, and we have to find that combination," he said.

Injury report

The Utes have most of their players back from injuries suffered during camp. The exceptions are defensive end Jacoby Hale (hamstring), running back Lucky Radley (hamstring), defensive back Tyler White (knee) and linebacker LT Filiaga (hamstring).

Offensive lineman Mason is practicing although he isn't 100 percent recovered from his ankle sprain.

"He should be 100 percent by next week," Whittingham said. "We came out of camp relatively healthy."

Redshirts

Whittingham will announce on Monday which players he expects to redshirt. The Utes are looking at almost a dozen players who could sit out the year.

"There are some guys on the bubble the first four or five weeks of the season who might have to step in and play," he said. "We'll have to see how it progresses."

Walk-on history

Remember the names of quarterback Adam Schulz and defensive back Tyler White, freshmen who were awarded scholarships following Wednesday's practice.

Often walk-ons who are awarded scholarships might earn some playing time here or there with programs, but are never really known as impact players.

But the Utes have a great history of turning walk-ons into steady contributors players.

Defenders such as Matt Martinez, Mike Wright and Chaz Walker all earned starting roles in recent years after walking onto the team.

In his eight years as the head coach, Kyle Whittingham estimates the Utes have awarded almost 50 scholarships to walk-ons.

This year, several walk-ons or those who walked on and have since earned a scholarship should play a role on the team. Among those are safety Quade Chappuis, offensive lineman Kala Friel, safety Tyron Morris-Edwards, receiver Geoff Norwood and defensive end Trevor Reilly.