Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Spring update: Utah
By Kevin Gemmell
Utah is heading into its second week of spring ball. Here's some news and roster notes on the Utes.
- David Rolf (calf) has the latest in a series of tight end injuries. He joins Kendrick Moeai (shoulder) and Dallin Rogers (knee) on the sidelines. Moeai and Rogers have already been declared out for the entire spring, but Rolf could return in a week or two. Last season Rogers caught 22 balls for 160 yards and two scores. Moeai had 15 catches for 84 yards and a score while Rolf caught three for 48. To compensate for the lack of depth due to the injuries, Jake Murphy will take the reps with the first team while former tight end-turned-defensive end Westlee Tonga will work as the No. 2 tight end until Rolf returns. Murphy had five catches for 64 yards -- including a 30-yard touchdown -- last season.
- The Utes are building depth in the secondary with a couple of different position battles. Keith McGill, a converted safety, and Tyler White have worked their way on to the depth chart in backup roles at both cornerback spots behind projected starters Mo Lee (left) and Ryan Lacy (right). Reggie Topps is battling with McGill for the No. 2 spot on the left while White and Wykie Freeman are fighting for the No. 2 spot on the opposite side.
- In more secondary position battles, Topps appears to still have a hold as the first cornerback off the bench when the Utes go into nickel, but Lewis Walker and Joseph Smith are contending for the No. 2 position.
- One position change on the defensive side of the ball: Jared Norris has moved from middle linebacker to rover linebacker -- where he's co-starting this week with Dave Fagergren and Victor Spikes.
- Grab your hard hat. Demolition will be begin Tuesdasy (in about three hours) on the Dee Glen Smith Athletics Center. Coach Kyle Whittingham will make the first dent by plowing some heavy equipment into the facility. The demolition paves the way for construction of a new $30 million football facility, which is expected to open in time for the 2013 season. The new facility will include practice fields.