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What Utah football need to focus on going into fall

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

While some college football fans may groan at the final whistle of the spring game, the realization that the days between now and the kickoff of the 2015 College Football season number in the hundreds. For the players, it's a time to finish up classes, and get a small break before summer conditioning starts in June. The Utes will come into the 2015 with fewer questions than last year, but there are still some questions to be answered. That is what the Utes will be focusing on heading into fall camp.

QB Depth Chart

The Utes know all about Travis Wilson, and what he brings to the field. They also have a good idea what they have with his likely backup, Kendal Thompson. Who is the No 3 quarterback on the depth chart? From all indications, redshirt freshman Chase Hansen is that man. Fresh off the mission in January, coach Kyle Whittingham was at the airport awaiting his arrival, determined that there was not going to be any repeat of the Harvey Langi situation from the year before. Hansen quickly found himself climbing the depth chart as spring football progressed, and seems to be heading into the fall in a great position. Plus, with the fact that five quarterbacks saw action last season, Hansen might have a similar opportunity this fall, and will need to be ready.

If Hansen is indeed the No 3, then what about Brandon Cox and Conner Manning? Some fans really would have liked to see Cox or Manning get a shot for the Utes in 2013. Cox saw the field versus Idaho State last season, and even took the Utes down the field, and capped off the drive with his touchdown run. Manning finally got a shot in 2014, in a soggy blowout loss versus Arizona at Rice-Eccles Stadium, and one of his few passes was intercepted for a touchdown. Both quarterbacks came to Utah full of promise in a bare quarterback cupboard, now they find themselves seemingly fighting to stay on the roster. Cox was injured in the spring, while Manning struggled in the spring game. Will both of these guys be on the roster come fall?

Offensive Playmakers (not named Booker)

The Utes lost two of their top receivers from this past season, with Dres Anderson and Kaelin Clay moving on, allowing others to have the opportunity to step in and contribute. Before his injury, Troy McCormick looked to be a big time play maker in 2015. Kenneth Scott will have the spotlight on him to see if he can be the big time player he's shown flashes of over the past few seasons. Tim Patrick showed potential in 2014 before his injury versus Oregon, and Delshawn McClellon played well in the Utah's final two games. Also, Raelon Singleton earned some praise from the coaches in the spring after redshirting last season due to an injury. There are a few players coming in the fall that will fight for time as well. So, the Utes need to find someone to fill the holes left by Anderson and Clay.

The new mayor of Sack Lake City

Another big hole to fill is the one left by Nate Orchard. Orchard exceeded all expectations in 2014, and devastated Pac 12 quarterbacks as he took over the role Trevor Reilly played for the Utes. Orchard struck fear into offensive linemen this past season that were picked higher than him in the NFL Draft. Can Hunter Dimick be that guy in 2015, or will it be someone like Pita Taumoepenu? Both showed the ability to get to the quarterback, and could easily be better this season. Another player to watch out for is Jason Fanaika, who has the skill to slide back and forth from DE and LB.

New coordinators... again

Utah lost both coordinators in 2014. One was a huge loss, but the other may be more addition by subtraction. Aaron Roderick is back in the booth as the offensive coordinator, along with Co-OC Jim Harding, after being just the quarterbacks coach last season. Roderick has been on the staff for nearly a decade, and has been a coordinator previously, plus wide receiver coach, and the aforementioned quarterback coach. Will he have an offense that will utilize Utah's strengths, and make Kyle Whittingham, and the fans happy? If his offense helps Utah win, the boss will probably be happy, and that's all that really matters.

Many thought Coach Whittingham would put in a young protege like Morgan Scalley at DC, and mold him much like Gary Anderson and Kalani Sitake. He did not, bringing in years of experience from college, the NFL, and USFL. Yes the USFL! Can John Pease pilot the defense that belongs to Kyle Whittingham? Will he keep the defense going that has become the calling card for Utah Football?

There is a lot of excitement for the 2015, and still a few questions that will be the focus this fall. The biggest question will be how good can this edition of Utah football be?