Players also had new headshots taken during the day.
Aug. 8, 2009
The Utah football held its annual media day today, with head coach Kyle Whittingham holding his first press conference of the season and several players meeting with the local media.
Head coach Kyle Whittingham
It's great to get back on the field and have the season around the corner. The first three days have gone very well. The guys have a good attitude and I like their mentality, focus and concentration. The usual guys are performing well on both sides of the ball. There's not a lot to go on so far with the new guys. They have been in pads for one day, so we will be evaluating our recruiting class in the next few weeks. We have 105 guys in camp - we are at our limit. We have a lot of work to do between now and the opener, but I like the mentality and attitude so far.
On Matt Asiata:
We will rely on him a lot, particularly in the start of the season. When breaking in a new quarterback you want a strong defense and a good run game. Early indications are that we will be good on defense again if we continue to work hard. It will take the pressure off the quarterback to have those two things going for us.
He has dropped some pounds and is quicker and faster. His leadership role has stepped up We rely heavily on senior leadership and its his turn to step into that role. He is our featured back this year and will get the majority of the carries. He is not sharing the role.
On the quarterback competition:
All three quarterbacks will practice with the one's until after the scrimmage on Thursday. We have off tomorrow and have a half pads practice on Monday, full pads on Tuesday, a double on Wednesday and a scrimmage on Thursday. That will be a defining moment. We have to get it down to two quarterbacks to start getting some guys more reps.
On three MWC teams being ranked in the coaches' poll:
It's good - this is the first time it has ever happened. It speaks to the respect that the Mountain West Conference gained last year, and it carried over into this year. We are happy to be ranked. We don't put a lot of stock in it at this point in the season, but people on the outside think we are doing good things. Where we are ranked in four or five weeks is much more important.
Senior offensive lineman Zane Beadles
On the program:
We are a lot deeper and have more talent now than my first season here. The program is in a very good position now. We have more exposure. Growing up and going to games, you can tell the difference between now and then. People know the Utah name.
Senior cornerback Robert Johnson
On the newcomers in the backfield:
Some of the new kids came in the spring and we were working on strengths and weaknesses. Off the field, we were hanging out. I think we will have a good secondary this year.
Senior linebacker Stevenson Sylvester
On the defense:
We are a competitive group. You can always get better and that's what we shoot for every year. You always want to get better.
Everyone is excited the first few days but when the grind of practice comes through, we need to continue to execute.