Utah's camp continues to progress at a solid rate, even though today it was officially announced that quarterback Chase Hansen will miss the 2012 season. That means, barring a last second change of heart, which is pretty improbable, Hansen will leave on a two-year mission at the end of this semester and won't see any action at Utah until 2015. It's a tough loss, especially when it appeared the coaching staff had developed some plays specifically for him, but it was a loss the Utes could afford.
Hansen will have shoulder surgery on Wednesday.
That aside, though, the offense continues to show progress. We're seeing some good things out of both Jordan Wynn and Jon Hays, while Travis Wilson is putting up a fight for the number two spot. As I've believed all along, it's unlikely Wynn loses his starting job, but it's nice to see Wilson pushing Hays for the backup role - since I think, and I've said, Hays is a serviceable quarterback.
From everything I've seen and read, I definitely like the tone out of camp more than last year. While there was some obvious signs of improvement during fall camp leading up to the 2011 season, the offense's struggles certainly were disconcerting. As the season progressed, it became clear just how sharp those struggles were.
This go around, however, the offense does appear to be ahead of where it was last year - not that that's saying much. But when you have an injury-prone quarterback and a new offensive coordinator who's only 25, the progress and positive buzz is a good thing.
The biggest positive, though, outside the fact there hasn't been any major injuries yet (continue to knock on that wood and not counting Hansen) is that Wynn, whose throwing motion was hindered last year, does appear to have improved on that immensely this season. That is huge for this team and suggests if he can remain healthy, which, let's be honest, hasn't been proven yet, the offense just might finally live up to its expectations.
Beyond camp, Utah received the commitment of Diablo Valley College wide receiver Andre Lewis. DVC is located in Pleasant View, California and he held offers, it appears, from Arkansas, Nevada and Texas Tech.
You can view his 2011 highlight video here.
Utah also announced that single-game tickets have gone on sale. BYU and USC are already sold out and I anticipate the other games will go fast, so, you better act fast. You can buy your tickets here. Most of the stadium is, in fact, sold out, with only reserved bleachers on both the west & east sides available (north end zone is sold out).
With the release of single-game tickets, it was also revealed today that the Cal game will be the 2012 Blackout - something Utah has been doing annually since the '08 season. Cal is an interesting choice because the time of the game has yet to be released, setting up the potential for a day blackout game. It is possible, of course, the University has confirmed a potential night start for the game and hopefully that is the case. I don't think anyone would want a day blackout game after what happened last time.
Finally, here's a video to get you excited for the start of the 2012 season: