Expectations are high for the Utes this coming season. They have a returning quarterback, a veteran offensive line, continuity among the offensive staff, good special teams, defense and some talented skill players. There are some areas of question on this team, as there is every year, but there’s a group of players that I’m excited to see prove themselves, and that’s the wide receivers.
The wide outs lost the two top pass catchers from a season ago with Darren Carrington and Raelon Singleton graduating and transferring out respectively. That’s a lot of production that the team lost, but there is no lack of talent returning. First, Britain Covey is home from his mission, and if he’s able to replicate his freshman season, the Utes have a leg up on fill some of that lost production. He is working out with the team now, and will be full go by fall camp. It will be interesting to see him throughout fall camp and into the early part of the season. Covey was so slippery for defender to bring down, I’ll be interested to see if he has lost any of that, and how long it may take him to get back in the groove.
Utah is also returning a couple of major starters, including Siaosi Mariner (formerly Wilson), Demari Simpkins and Samson Nacua. All three of those guys over the past couple of seasons have shown major abilities on the outside. Mariner has shown he can be a big time receiver. He has the body type and good hands to go along with it. He’ll be expected to step up quite a bit going into this season, with Singleton moving on. Simpkins has been reliable since he stepped on campus. He and Covey are similar in a lot of ways, with their smaller stature, but a nice ability to get open downfield. I can’t wait to see what he can do next. Nacua had a nice season last year, and his ceiling is high too. He and Tyler Huntley got into a nice groove for a while, and with his size and speed he should be able to supply some downfield playmaking ability too.
There are a couple of newbies to watch out for as well. First, is Bronson Boyd, the transfer from Texas Tech that has raised a lot of eyebrows during his season sitting out, and through spring camp. Reports out of spring as he was one of the best performing receivers in the group, and could have the potential to be a big play threat for the Utes, similar to Carrington. Fortunately, for the Utes, they’ll have more than just one season of Boyd. It’ll be fun to see how high the depth chart Boyd climbs once we get into fall camp, and if he can crack the starting lineup. I think he has the capability to do so, and he should be a dynamic player for the Utes. Also joining the Utes is true freshman Soloman Enis, the true freshman out of Arizona. The four star receiver didn’t particpate in spring ball, but is now on campus for summer conditioning with the team. Obviously, being a freshman, he is the most unknown name among the group, but the likes of USC and ASU were hot after the recruit when he was in high school. Enis will have a chance to crack the two deep, and under Guy Holliday, I have no doubt he’ll be a very good player. I think the question is how quickly can he acclimate to the offense, and can he out perform some of the upper class men on the team?
I really, really like the potential of this group, and has the potential to be one of the best ones we’ve seen at Utah, and has the ability to grow together over the next couple of seasons, which is a big bonus, especially considering the QB should grow with them.
What are your thoughts on the WR group, and which name are you excited to see?