Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Spring Football Camp Opens Tuesday, Mar. 18

Two-year starter Travis Wilson is one of six QB candidates in spring camp.

Two-year starter Travis Wilson is one of six QB candidates in spring camp.

March 14, 2014

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Spring football camp starts for the Utes on Tuesday, Mar. 18 with a no-pads practice. It will be the first of 15 total spring practices over the next five weeks. Highlighting the schedule are two scrimmages and the 11th-annual Red-White spring game on Saturday, Apr. 19. The public is invited to attend all outdoor practices in the spring, both at the practice field west of the Spence & Cleone Eccles Football Center and at Rice-Eccles Stadium. For safety reasons, practices held inside the Spence Eccles Field House will be closed to the public.


The Utes will hold scrimmages in Rice-Eccles Stadium on Friday, April 4 (4 p.m.) and Saturday, April 12 (10 a.m.). The Red-White game is Saturday, April 19 at 1 p.m.


* Dave Christensen was hired as Utah's new offensive coordinator in December. Christensen was the head coach at Wyoming from 2009-13 and the 2011 Mountain West Coach of the Year. His 29 years of college coaching experience also includes eight years as the offensive coordinator at Missouri (2001-08).

* Jim Harding is Utah's new offensive line coach. Harding spent five seasons at Wyoming and was the Cowboy co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach in 2013.

* Taylor Stubblefield, a former consensus All-American and an NCAA record-setting wide receiver at Purdue, is Utah's new receivers coach. He has coached wide receivers at six different schools, most recently Wake Forest in 2013.

* In the offseason, Kyle Whittingham added special teams' coordinator to his head coaching duties. It's not a new concept at Utah: Whittingham's predecessor Urban Meyer did so from 2003-04.

* Aaron Roderick will coach the quarterbacks in 2014 after nine years with Utah's receivers. Before coming to the U. in 2005, Roderick coached the QBs at Southern Utah from 2003-2004.


Utah's depth chart for spring camp is missing several key players, including these probable starters: right guard Junior Salt, linebacker Jason Whittingham and defensive tackle Sese Ianu. Also out for spring ball are defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, safety Tevin Carter, running back Lucky Radley, defensive lineman Sam Tevi and offensive lineman Derek Tuimauga. All are expected back for fall camp and some will be able to perform in certain non-contact drills in the spring.


The Utes will continue to run a spread offense and a 4-3 defense in 2014, although they frequently employ an extra defensive back in place of a linebacker ... Returning from last year's team are 17 starters (8 offense, 7 defense, 2 kickers) and 53 lettermen. A year ago at this time, just 13 starters returned ... Starters who missed all of last season with injuries and are back in action are senior safety Brian Blechen and junior receiver Kenneth Scott ... New signees who enrolled in school for spring semester are freshman offensive lineman Jackson Barton, junior running back Devontae Booker, freshman defensive tackle Alani Havili-Katoa and senior safety Tevin Carter.


Pending full medical clearance this summer, junior quarterback Travis Wilson is projected reclaim his starting job come fall. Wilson, who has been cleared for non-contact drills in the spring, started in the first nine games of 2013 before tests for a concussion revealed a previous injury to an intracranial artery and ended his season. The two-year starter is one of six scholarship QBs already on campus and another is expected in the fall. Wilson's competitors are junior Adam Schulz (former walk-on started the last three games of 2013 with a 1-2 record), redshirt freshmen Brandon Cox, Conner Manning and Micah Thomas, junior transfer Jason Thompson (Wyoming transfer is not eligible for games until 2015) and junior transfer Kendal Thompson (scheduled to finish his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma this summer and arrive in time for fall camp).


Registration for the Ultimate Tailgate Championship, held the morning of the Red-White spring game each year in the west lot of Rice-Eccles Stadium, opens on Monday, Mar. 24 at UtahUtes.com. Tailgate options range from four to 12 parking stalls and early registration is recommended as spaces go fast. Two competitions will be judged and prizes awarded at this year's Ultimate Tailgate Championship: Best Overall Tailgate Spread and Best Tailgate Item on a Bun.



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