Utah quarterback Corbin Louks spent the first half of Utah's Saturday practice trying to get the ball to the receivers. He spent the second half trying to keep it from them.
Louks, demoted to No. 3 on the quarterback depth chart Friday behind freshman Jordan Wynn and transfer Terrance Cain, changed from his red quarterback jersey to a black one and played safety in the second half of the practice.
The junior was all smiles as he came off the field, clearly enjoying the time he got at a position he hasn't played since high school.
"I had a good time," he said. "The guys welcomed me in open arms, teaching me what to do, so I had a good time."
Both Louks and Utah coach Kyle Whittingham emphasized having Louks as a safety was experimental, but all involved were encouraged by how he practiced.
Louks sat in on safety meetings Friday night and Saturday morning, then asked to join the safeties during practice.
"He did well, now I just have to coach him down," joked safeties coach Morgan Scalley.
If he does make the switch, the Utes prefer to redshirt him so he can better learn the position, something that Louks wants as well.
"I played this in high school but never was taught how to do anything," he said. "I was just out there trying to read the quarterback and make a play, so I definitely need tons of help on technique, coverage, what to do."
Louks, who played at San Ramon Valley H.S. in Danville, Calif., is one of the fastest players on the team with a 4.42 in the 40.
"He takes natural angles, and that is what you look for in a safety," Scalley said. "The second thing is range, sideline to sideline, and that kid could do it."
On Friday, Louks didn't try to hide the fact he was disappointed in being demoted, but his attitude and work ethic Saturday impressed his teammates.
"You can say that could probably break a person's soul, being here last year as second string, then last the next year," safety Robert Johnson said. "Corbin has taken it real well and he is in good spirits."
So was Johnson, who was excited to have the speedy Louks on his side of the ball.
"Last year, he said he liked the black jerseys; he didn't know it was going to be official," he said.
What we learned » Corbin Louks embraced the chance to try out on the defensive side of the ball. If he stays there, he'll probably redshirt.
Who was hot » Everyone. Utah coach Kyle Whittngham called Saturday's practice the best the Utes have had in camp. "We were getting after it, flying around, great focus and great concentration," he said.
Who was sidelined » The Utes didn't have any serious injuries, although the pit was busy with sore players, including linebacker Stevenson Sylvester, running back Eddie Wide and kicker Ben Vroman. All are expected back for Monday's sessions.