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Utah Spring Football: Day 1 Recap

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Football resumes on the hill for Kyle Whittingham and many questions will be answered in the coming weeks.

Kenneth Scott goes up for a pass in day one of Utah Football spring practice.
Kenneth Scott goes up for a pass in day one of Utah Football spring practice.
Daniel Spight

Welcome back football! Well, sort of. Day one of Utah spring football went as well as anyone could expect. As the team ran through drills in only helmets, there were highs and lows from the first day's activities, here are a few:

Quarterbacks

Travis Wilson looks to be reprising his role as the starter at QB for the Utes - as he should. Now in his senior season, he looked relaxed during day one, and focused as he ran through his progressions. Not perfect by any means, but it was par for the course as far as the opening day of spring camp. It was a pleasant surprise to see Kendal Thompson at about 90-95% when most thought that he would not be ready until fall camp, due to his recovery from knee surgery. In fact, even with the exit of Adam Schulz, Utah still ran reps for all five QB's today. Wilson, Thompson, Brandon Cox, Conner Manning, Donovan Isom and the much anticipated returned missionary Chase Hansen. Cox has removed his dreads, which made him unrecognizable at first. I still maintain that he is the most athletic QB on the team.

Chase Hansen Taking Reps in Spring Football

Photo courtesy of Daniel Spight

Chase Hansen stood out for a couple of reasons. First off, he is big, and he looks every part of Pac-12 QB. Although he was not very accurate, he was very good at moving in the pocket and creating space to throw. Donovan Isom also excels with his mobility in the pocket. Another attribute of Isom, is that he is incredibly agile for his size. He is really starting to fill out and look the part of a D1 athlete.

Running Backs

Devontae Booker took limited reps today, but he was his usual self. There was a newcomer in the backfield, and he looks to be very promising. Redshirt freshman Tani Leha'uli took a lot of reps today. He is fast and decisive, with good speed getting to the outside; plus he looks big enough to give and take plenty of punishment. The jury will be out until the pads go on, but he is one to watch.

Wide Receivers

The good news is that Kenneth Scott continues to have the best hands on the team. Now in his senior season, he is ready to take on the role of mentor and be the veteran leader in the WR corps. The not so good news, at this point, is it's unclear who is going to step up and be the other big names in this group. But don't freak out, there is PLENTY of talent. Tim Patrick and Delshawn McClellon are next in seniority to Scott. Patrick was lost last season in the Oregon game just as he was starting to hit his stride in the offense. Delshawn is the ultimate slot guy, plus he is fast enough to burn you deep, and has good enough hands to go over the middle. Look for these three to be your main core of WR's. Behind them, there are many options. Kenric Young, Monte Seabrook, Troy McCormick, Jamison Field and Tyler Cooperwood all have the ability to contribute in big ways. Long story short, Utah is just FINE at wide out.

Until the pads go on next week, we won't really know much more. However, an overall evaluation suggests that this team is confident. They're determined to correct the mistakes that kept them out of the top end of the league. They also understand their shortcomings from last year - and are ready to make 2015 a special season.

Here are some interviews from after practice today.

Kenneth Scott Post Spring Ball 03.24.2015

Dominique Hatfield Post Spring Ball 03.24.2015

Isaac Asiata Post Spring Ball 03.24.2015