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Friday, March 4, 2011
Utah gears up for spring practice

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Utah will practice as a Pac-12 team for the first time Tuesday when spring drills begin, but that doesn't mean coach Kyle Whittingham is already eyeballing his new conference foes.

"It's all about us," he said.

The Utes have plenty on their plate. The secondary needs to be rebuilt, the two leading rushers from 2010 are gone and there are voids on the offensive and defensive line. Not only that, they will be breaking in a new offense under coordinator Norm Chow, which will have a more "West Coast" look and less of the spread that arrived with Urban Meyer in 2003.

"We brought Norm in with the intention of incorporating a lot of the West Coast principles into our offense," Whittingham said. "That's the direction we are headed. We have not completely scrapped the spread, but you'll see a lot more under-center stuff, more downhill run game, good play-action pass package off of that run game. We have some definitive ideas of the direction we are headed."

With starting quarterback Jordan Wynn sitting out after shoulder surgery, a lot of the focus will be on that downhill running game after the loss of Matt Asiata, Eddie Wide and Sausan Shakerin. Harvey Langi and John White IV are early-enrollees who will have the inside track at tailback, while Boo Anderson has moved from linebacker to fullback.

As previously noted, linebacker J.J. Williams, safety Greg Bird and tight end Dallin Rogers also are sitting out due to injuries.

Here are some notes from Whittingham. (Note: If your favorite backup from last fall is not listed, it doesn't mean he's not in the mix.)