Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes running back Bubba Poole (34) runs the ball as the University of Utah hosts Arizona State, college football at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Saturday November 9, 2013.
Utah football: Utes appear to have embarrassment of riches at running back
Utah football » Six RBs split reps in spring practices.
First Published Mar 30 2014 04:26 pm • Last Updated Mar 31 2014 04:50 pm

Dennis Erickson says he has no problem with his role on this year’s Utes, but he does have a problem.

A good problem, probably.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Six practices into spring, there are six running backs splitting reps. More are on their way this fall. Erickson needs to pare down the field, but they’re making it tough because, darn it, they’re all playing pretty well.

As of Monday, your way-too-early depth chart seems to be: 1, junior Bubba Poole; 2, (tie) junior Devontae Booker and redshirt freshman Troy McCormick; 4, sophomore Marcus Sanders-Williams; 5, redshirt freshman Dre’Vian Young; and 6, junior Jarrell Oliver.

"We have a lot of them," Erickson said. "It’s a good group. The thing that I like about it is they’re all a little different."

Poole was the team’s top rushing threat last season with 607 yards, complemented by 229 receiving yards, and his name is currently in bold face on the depth chart.

Behind him, McCormick tips the scales at just 167 pounds but possesses breakaway speed and the ability to line up as a slot receiver and burn past linebackers.

And of all the backs, the well-rounded Booker may have had the best start to spring. His blend of power and speed is everything Utah coaches had hoped for when they recruited him at Sacramento’s American River College, Erickson says.

Those three currently split the bulk of the carries against the No. 1 defense at practice. In addition, Sanders-Williams gained 10 pounds in the offseason (up to 222), and Erickson thinks he may be used in the blocking-intensive role that Karl Williams filled last year.

Kelvin York, Poole and senior Lucky Radley split the carries in 2013 (combining for 1,352 yards), and the Utes are likely to use multiple backs again this year. But Erickson knows there are only so many snaps.


story continues below
story continues below

Expected to join the fray at fall camp are Radley, sophomore returned missionary Harvey Langi (if he doesn’t change positions), and two true freshmen from the Sunshine State in D.J. Law and Tarvaris Williams.

Poole said he and the other backs — a group self-styled as "Let’s Get It" — are well aware that every rep counts.

"We’ve all accepted that, when you get your chance, you’ve got to make the most of it."

mpiper@sltrib.com

Twitter: @matthew_piper



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.