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Utah Football Pre-Season Position Preview: Safeties

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

When Tevin Carter went down with an injury in 2014, it looked like a promising career at safety wasn't in the cards. Carter did not qualify in 2013, and was a one year to play one JC transfer in 2014. He started off the season great, culminating with a pick-6 at UCLA, just before going down with an injury in that game. Weeks later, his odds at returning from injury became slim, but word of a medical redshirt possibility kept hope alive for Carter to return to the Utes for another season.

Despite losing Carter or the season, the Utes were afforded the opportunity to get some valuable playing time and experience for their younger safeties. Marcus Williams was one of those who filled in for Carter, and the sophomore will be starting this season at Free safety for the Utes. He played in all 13 games last season, registered 59 tackles, two forced fumbles, and had one interception last season.

Many thought going into fall camp that Wyoming transfer Jason Thompson, who had moved over to defense from the quarterback position, would push for a starting safety position. With the transfer requirements completed, he became eligible for the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, and played some quarterback and special teams in that game. His size and athleticism seems suited for the position, but he will begin the season behind Williams at free safety.

Tevin Carter did receive that medical redshirt year from the NCAA, so he will have the opportunity to slide over to strong Safety, to occupy the spot left by graduating senior Brian Blechen. Carter has a knack in finding where the football is. Whether it intercepting the pass, or finding the opposing player who has the ball, and punishing them. He will have a chance to prove the potential the coaches saw in bringing him from LA Southwest College.

Backing up Carter at strong safety is Andre Godfrey, who also benefited from early playing time during his freshman year. Godfrey wasn't 100% in 2014, and may have had more playing time if he was. Coaches were excited and liked what they saw coming out of Miramar, FL. Godfrey is the future at safety for the Utes, and won't see a lot of time if Carter stays healthy. They will have no problem trusting Godfrey if he is needed in 2015.

The safeties are solid and a strength for the Utes in 2015, there may not have been as much depth of talent at the position in the past. They have four quality guys that should match up well against some of the best receivers in the Pac 12, and maybe some of the best in the country.