Is anybody else here?
I’ll try to report what Coach Whit says.
If you get a chance, be sure to ask him if he thinks BYU would be a good fit for the Big XII.
OK, here’s my notes:
Really good camp, excited about the new class. 6-10 true freshmen will have a major impact this year. Terrell Burgess is going to be the alternate kick returner (with Boobie Hobbs) right away.
Southern Utah was good last year, produced 3 NFL players. 2-3 players are projected to be NFL caliber this year, so not taking them lightly.
Really, really, really like the 2 QBs. Troy was the clear cut favorite, so it was easy to name him the starter. One of the most exciting things is that his intangibles are every bit as good as his tangibles.
They showed some film from fall camp. Garrett Boles is amazing. The receiving corps is impressive, with some serious height (2 guys 6’4″, one 6’5″).
He is extremely excited about Troy McCormick.
They are NOT going to try to redshirt Tyler Huntley. He could see some game time this Thursday.
Huntley can escape and throw on the run better than anyone Whit has seen. His biggest strength is to extend the play, escape the rush, and run or throw on the run.
The running backs are in better shape than we’ve been in the last 12 years. We don’t have that “one guy”, but that’s because they’re all great.
Watch Kyle Fulks, he is “going to be great”.
The 5 freshmen DL are amazing. We will probably redshirt three of them, and two will be contributing right away, including Anae.
Junlian Blackman is “a jackpot”. Really watch out for him.
If the QBs and receivers can perform as they have in camp, we have a chance to be a really good football team.
Then there was some QA:
Which of the backs is most like Weddle? Hansen is most like Weddle of all that we have… he is definitely very diverse.
How much shotgun versus under center? We will be running 80-90% shotgun this year.
What is the status of Cory Butler-Bird? He’s doing great, however, they’re just getting into it so he has a lot more to prove. He won’t play soon. Whit is hoping he continues on his current course.
Status of Laufatasanga? He is hampered by injuries, but tons of potential. By midseason he could be much more of a factor.
How are the receivers doing? They are playing like they have a chip on their shoulder. They know that they haven’t done well the last few seasons, and are really looking to shine. They are on a mission. But it will all boil down to how they show on the field.
Who is the 3rd string/emergency quarterback? Jason Thompson is, not Chase. That could change if things go nuts, but for right now Jason Thompson is definitely the emergency quarterback.
Status of Pita Taumoepenu? Whit says he will be the sack leader in the PAC-12 this year. The coaches regret not using him last season more. He will be a big factor on the field this year.
How are Scalley and Pease different? Scalley will blitz a lot more than Pease. The defense will be a lot more aggressive, versus just relying on the front 4. That will result in one school or another’s fight song being played at the end of a lot of plays, probably… <big laugh>… but it will be more aggressive.
Will the QBs be running as much this year? That WAS in the plans, but with the QB depth taking a hit with Cox’s departure, that is no longer in the cards. They will run a little to keep defenses honest and to show that that’s still in the playbook, but not nearly as much.
Thanks for the report. I was worried about Laufatasaga’s conditioning those summer workouts really benefit the guys. I hope we see a strong rush attack, Joe Williams better hold on to the ball or he could see the bench fast.
I absolutely love the addition of Troy Williams to go with Whit. This team is taking a giant step forward this year and every year hereafter. Go Utes!
at a time where I am most thirsty for any Ute tidbit I can find, this was incredible. < 72 hours….
This is great stuff. Thanks for sharing! I’ve never been to one of these luncheons. Is Whitt usually this positive and optimistic?
Thanks for the update! I should check with UteHub before the radio.
I used to try to make all of the coach’s luncheons, but I just wasn’t getting much info that wasn’t otherwise available. Plus a Monday lunch is often tough to get away to. It sounds like this one had a bit more info. Thanks again for the report!
I would say he’s always realistic.
I haven’t heard him be this positive and optimistic… well… ever. But then again I’ve only been to two or three of these luncheons over the last 6-7 years or so.
I get the sense he feels comfortable in the PAC. I went to a few when the switch happened and he knew it was a tall task to move into the PAC. He knows he has the players to compete with every team in the PAC. But with everything having the ball roll your way is nice as well.
The criticism of Booker his first season was his bad case of the drops. He solved that quickly. I am sure Joe Williams will do the same. He has a living legend coaching him…(Dennis Erickson).
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