We are now at the end of week two of Utah fall camp, and we are getting a bunch of fun storylines, even if some of them aren’t all that dramatic, like major position battles. The team is rounding into form, and players are showing improvement over last season. Let’s dive into some of the post practice tweets...
Whittingham says he expects a number of freshman to contribute this year, but it's sure who yet. Still needs to see more, including scrimmage action...#Utes #CampKyle18— Bill Riley (@espn700bill) August 10, 2018
The new redshirt rule will make things really interesting going forward, with freshman being able to play in four games and still keep their redshirt intact. Not only that, but I think Coach Whitt is very pleased with the freshmen thus far, and that this class was a nice one, with Tuttle, Enis, Brumfield and others. The hope is this group can develop, keep their redshirt seasons, and be ready for Utah going forward.
Whittingham says that Jaylon Johnson is finally healthy. Played hurt most of last year with a lingering HS injury. Says Johnson is now very confident.#Utes #CampKyle18— Bill Riley (@espn700bill) August 10, 2018
Does this shock anybody else? The dude played that well on an injury last year? Jaylon Johnson has NFL written all over him, and he was one of the best corners in the league last season as a freshman. I can’t imagine him now, since he’s 100%, and the fact that he’s surrounded by a bunch of studs too.
Whittingham says that WR Demari Simpkins is a "Coaches Dream". Does whatever is needed and is a self made player...#Utes #CampKyle— Bill Riley (@espn700bill) August 10, 2018
Simpkins was the talk of the day with his catch in the back of the end zone. A toe tapping, twisting catch between defenders from Huntley was a sight to behold. Simpkins said be believes he’s the best wide out in the league, and with plays like that, it doesn’t seem outlandish. Now, he just needs to keep it up. He’s been called out many times by the coaches as one of the best players this fall, and similar to the secondary, I think having a bunch of talented dudes around him will go a long way.
The highlight of the day, though, was a 30-yard pass from Huntley to Demari Simpkins for an acrobatic, toe just barely in touchdown catch over Corrion Ballard.— Josh Furlong (@JFurKSL) August 10, 2018
Per Whitt and Justin Ena, Nothing new to report as of now on Frances Bernard. Bernard was watching practice today..#Utes #CampKyle18— Bill Riley (@espn700bill) August 10, 2018
The Bernard watch is still on, but many believe it’s just a matter of time before he suits up. The hope is that it’s soon, so he’s not too far behind everyone else.
Troy Taylor said the backup QB spot is day-to-day. Each guy does something different each day to separate from the other. Jason Shelley got a little more work with the twos today in media observation.— Josh Furlong (@JFurKSL) August 10, 2018
This is interesting, because many people thought the back up battle was over. Of course, this could be a bit of a smoke screen from the coaches, but I don’t really think it is. Tuttle may be the favorite to take that spot, but I think Shelley is going to go down fighting, if he does. He’s a playmaker and is fun to watch. Coach Taylor said he struggled with the deep ball earlier in practice, so that’s something to keep an eye on, because I have little doubt Tuttle will have struggles in that area.
Good things on both sides of the ball from practice today. The DB’s were aggressive and making it tough on the offense. But the offense held its own, esp. with Huntley under center. His passing has improved a ton, plays smarter.— Josh Furlong (@JFurKSL) August 10, 2018
And now we’re apparently at the point when there’s give and take from both sides of the ball, which is what we want to see. You want to see high end competition in practices from both sides of the ball, so they can improve from playing each other. When one side dominates the other from most of camp, there should be some major concerns.
The Utes will now scrimmage, but Coach Whitt said it will really be for many of the young guys. It sounds like most things are now settled, overall, it’s now just fine tuning and maybe some experimention. I have a feeling the team is going to start getting board this coming week, as it’s really the last week before they start game prep for Weber State.