Zane Taylor , Utah's honorable mention all-MWC center from a year ago, is slated to be the Utes' starting right guard this season, but the offensive line is far from set, as Saturday's practice indicated.
Taylor was back at center for the majority of the snaps Saturday, with coaches most often using junior Walter Watts at right guard.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said the Utes still are experimenting with the offensive line and will use the five best guys, which may or may not include Taylor at center.
"Zane is going to be on the field regardless," he said. "We're continuing to experiment with who that fifth guy is."
Watts, center Tevita Stevens , center Tyler Williams , guard Derek Tuimauga and tackle Viliamu Nau are all competing to be that fifth, he said.
While saying he'd do whatever it takes to help the Utes win, Taylor said his preference is to play center where he feels most comfortable.
"That spot is special to me, especially after last season," he said.
Saturday was the first for the Utes in shoulder pads and the team's effort drew praise from Whittingham.
"The first day in pads you always expect guys to be excited, but it was a very good, excellent day," he said.
Defenders Koa Misi , Stevenson Sylvester and Robert Johnson were singled out for their efforts as were receivers David Reed and Jereme Brooks and running back Matt Asiata .
Whittingham reiterated he wants to narrow the quarterback race to two guys after Thursday's scrimmage, calling the first scrimmage a "defining moment."
"We have to get it down to two and to start sinking more reps into two guys," he said. "They're getting spread too thin and we don't want to do that much longer."