Utah fans can breathe. Quarterback Jordan Wynn reports that his shoulder feels pretty darn good.
Wynn, who sat out spring practices after shoulder surgery, rates as the Utes most indispensable player, according to an impeccable source, so that's big news for Utah and big news in the Pac-12 South, where Wynn and company will find themselves this fall.
So what does Wynn have to say about his shoulder, the new offense with coordinator Norm Chow and other topics about his team and its new conference.
How's the shoulder?
Jordan Wynn: It's great. I've been throwing four times a week for pretty much the whole summer, getting the strength back. It's right on track. I've thrown every route we have already this summer with proper velocity. It's pretty close to 100 percent. I'd say it's somewhere around 95 percent. It's feeling good.
So you feel you'll be 100 percent by the beginning of camp on Aug. 4?
JW: Yeah. I'll be taking all the reps with the ones. It really shouldn't be an issue.
Let's go back to spring: You sat out while new coordinator Norm Chow installed a new offense: What did you get accomplished even though you couldn't play?
JW: It was kind of nice. They let me do all the run plays, so that's where I got the most knowledge, the run checks that Coach Chow installed with the offense. I improved in that area. You can learn a lot from sitting and watching. I feel like I learned a lot in the passing game, getting a different perspective from just watching.
For an average fan, what will be most different about this offense compared to last year?
JW: We'll be under center, that's what everyone will catch. We were in the shotgun 90 percent of the time last year. This year, I think it will be the opposite, with 90 percent under center. Other than that, it's a typical pro-style offense. A lot of downhill runs, but we have the capability to do a lot of things, whether we line up in the "I" or up in the spread still. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
How does it play into your set of skills?
JW: I'm a drop-back guy. A lot of people think that because I was in the spread I'm a dual-threat, but I like being under center and taking three- to five-step drops and running play-action. That's what I did in high school. That's what I've grown up doing. This offense couldn't be any more perfect for me. I'm excited about it.
Tell me about you guys work this summer: What is a day-in-the-life like?
JW: I grab guys and throw four times a week. We have lifting four times a week in the weight room. We run as a team twice a week in the morning. It's still pretty filled, the week. But at the same time it is summer, so we get quite a bit of down time. I feel like it's just right. Our strength staff does a good job getting us ready for fall camp and the season.
Give me some younger guys who've impressed you this summer that folks may not know much about?
JW: [Redshirt freshman receiver] Dres Anderson, he had a great spring. He'll contribute a lot this year. We just got a guy, Anthony Denham, he's a big-time receiver from a JUCO. He's a specimen [6-foot-4, 231 pounds]. He's coming in and getting the reps down. If he gets the plays down, he'll definitely be a weapon this year. And then Harvey Langi, John White and Thretton Palamo -- all three of the running backs -- have been taking reps since the spring. They've been working hard and I think people will be surprised at how well we run the ball.
So, is it sinking in that you're in the Pac-12 now. Or will that take a few games? Or does it even matter?
JW: Honestly, I don't really think about. We've been knowing it the whole time, going through spring ball and summer workouts. Everyone knows that's the conference we are in now. Mostly it's just for the fans to really get a sense of, an identification with being in the Pac-12. As far as the players go, we still go out and play the same number of games. You just play guys with different jerseys on.
But have you thought just a little bit about walking out into the Coliseum against USC with 90,000 fans on hand in the second game, and it being not just a big game but a conference game?
JW: I don't think about it a whole lot. All of our focus is on Montana State [the Utes opener]. You never want to overlook someone. But my family definitely talks about that, being from Southern California. I know I'm going to have a bunch of family and friends there. They ask me all the time how am I going to react, playing in front of big crowds like that. You don't really think about it, you just go out and do it. It's what I've been training to do all year. I'm just going to go out and play the game.