Neither Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley nor coach Kyle Whittingham ruled anything out or ruled anything in for this weekend. Huntley returned to the practice field in full pads and took snaps with the offense on Tuesday for the first time since his injury in the team’s Pac-12 Conference opener against Arizona.
“I took a couple reps and that about it,” Huntley said. “It wasn’t all full go, but it felt good to be back out there.”
Huntley, a sophomore, missed the Utes’ past two games, both losses, against Stanford and USC. He did not travel with the team this past weekend to Los Angeles. However, he spoke to reporters Monday for the first time since his injury and indicated he’d return to practice this week.
“There’s always a chance,” Whittingham said when asked if Huntley might start on Saturday. “Until they tell me he’s ruled out, there’s always a chance.”
Following Tuesday’s practice, Huntley said he didn’t feel too rusty but certainly felt winded after not having practiced in three weeks.
“One hundred percent, I’ll be ready to play on Saturday if they give me the go,” Huntley said. “If they give me the go next week, I’ll be 100 percent because they won’t let me on the field until I’ll be 100 percent.”
Through four games – Huntley got hurt early in the second quarter of the fourth game – Huntley proved himself a dynamic dual-threat weapon from the quarterback position. He passed for 966 yards, including back-to-back 300-yard passing games against BYU and San Jose State, and rushed for 267 yards. He went into the Arizona game as the team’s leading rusher.
Utes add Tafua
Utah’s football program announced Tuesday via its Twitter account that Mike Tafua, a defensive standout from Hawaii who originally signed with BYU, has joined the program and been placed on scholarship.
The 6-foot-3, 228-pound Tafua went on an LDS church mission in 2015. He earned first-team all-state honors as well as Interscholastic Honolulu co-Defensive Player of the Year as a senior linebacker at Kamehameha High School before his LDS church mission.
Tafua, a three-sport athlete who competed in basketball and track, earned a three-star rating from 247Sports, Scout.com and Rivals.com as well as a four-star rating from ESPN.com. Tafua will play defensive end for the Utes.
“He’s already in the mix,” defensive line coach Lewis Powell said. “He’s lifting and running around with the fellas. We’re excited about him.”
Tafua joining the Utes program comes on the heels of a pair of Herriman High standouts, offensive lineman Jaren Kump and tight end/defensive end David Fotu, committing to the Utes after previously committing to BYU.