We have a couple of weeks left in spring football camp, and week 4 kicks off Tuesday in a closed practice. The Utes will be working toward an open scrimmage on Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
There are a couple of interesting notes in the latest release from the U (below). First, it states pretty clearly that Troy Williams and Tyler Huntley are one-two at QB. Not a big shock, but interesting to see the clarification from the staff.
A couple players are getting a shout out at corner in the release. Julian Blackmon was just outside the two deep last year at corner, and got some run when guys went down due to injury, and it’s nice to see the youngster having a nice spring. Casey Hughes is a bit of a surprise, but I’m excited for the kid, as he’s been very patient in getting his opportunity. It’ll be interesting to see how those two shape up come fall when more players are in camp.
Also, in one of the most underrated open positions at place kicker, Hayes Hicken has had a nice spring and seems to be the front runner for that job. Hicken has shown to have a powerful leg on kickoffs, and it’ll be interesting to watch him if he wins that job, as he has big shoes to fill.
Lastly, it’s interesting that the spring game won’t be the end of spring for the Utes, as they’ll have one last closed practice afterwards. I’d be very interested to hear more on this theory, and why the change from years past. Maybe it’s an opportunity for them to go over some last minute clean up, or playbook installation.
Here’s the full release:
Spring Camp Enters Week 4
The second scrimmage of the spring is on tap for Saturday, Apr. 8 from 10 a.m.-noon in Rice-Eccles Stadium. The scrimmage is open to the public. The Utes will hold closed practices on Tuesday and Thursday.
After going “live” at last week’s scrimmage, the quarterbacks will likely be off limits to tacklers for the remainder of the spring, although a final decision has yet to be determined. Troy Williams and Tyler Huntley are solidly one-two at quarterback … Two corners who have come on strong are junior Casey Hughes and sophomore Julian Blackmon ... Redshirt freshman Baba Falemaka is having a standout spring out at tight end … Sophomore Hayes Hicken continues to make a strong bid for the open job at place kicker after a good showing at the first scrimmage of the spring on Mar. 31.
The Utes will run around 80 plays at the scrimmage on Saturday, Apr. 8. The drills will include: drive-it situations from various locations (No. 1 offense vs. No. 1 defense and No. 2 offense vs. No. 2 defense), two- and four-minute situations, short yardage (third and one, third and two, fourth and one), backed up and red zone. The Utes will also work on special teams’ fundamentals.
Six practice sessions and the Red-White game remain on the 2017 spring schedule. For the first time, the spring game will not signal the end to camp. The final closed practice will be on Tuesday, Apr. 18. The Red-White game is scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 15 at 11 a.m. in Rice-Eccles Stadium. It will be the 16th version of a formalized spring game. Prior to 2002, Utah’s spring camp concluded with a situational scrimmage rather than an actual game.