We have an official depth chart for the Utah football program! The program teased out what it would look like a few days ago, and this is just the second depth chart since spring. Below is the depth chart, and I’ll give some reaction below that to some of the spots...
Depth chart time!— Block U (@BlockU) August 27, 2018
Shelley #2 QB
Covey back in starting lineup, Simpkins moved to outside.
Left guard is still a battle for the starting spot. pic.twitter.com/8ZkGFnnjBB
Obviously, Huntley is QB1, and that’s no surprise to anyone out there. Where there is a bit of a surprise is behind him with the 2 and 3 guys. Jason Shelley is No. 2 and Jack Tuttle is No. 3, and Coach Whitt broke that down a bit more during the presser today (check out Brittany’s full write up on that). With that said, it’s a multipronged decision, first of all, I have little doubt that Shelley deserves it, and he played really well from spring all the way through fall camp. One factor that went into it, which Whitt acknowledge, was the fact that Tuttle has a redshirt year and Shelley doesn’t. The Utes really want to develop Tuttle and groom him properly, which is a nice change of pace over what has happened over the past handful of seasons.
The biggest news is that Britain Covey has retaken the starting spot that he left open after the 2015 season. With him moving back into the starting lineup, Demari Simpkins is sliding outside as a starter out there. This appears to be such a deep group, with Siaosi Mariner locked in as a starter, as well as Samson Nacua. The backups here are interesting with Bryan Thompson, Jaylen Dixon’s Hanson Field and Bronson Boyd being No. 2s. I’m really exited to see this group.
This is the only position that is not yet settled, and the two will be competing to lock down the spot permanently. It sounds like Nick Ford will run out onto the field to open the game, but it will be an on going thing until one separates himself from the other.
I don’t think there really any surprises here, but I’m excited to see this group, especially the likes of Mika Tafua, Hauati Pututau and Leki Fotu getting the starts. We know Anae is a stud, but I’m excited those three along with him get the starting reps together, and see what they can do. These names we’ve seen bits of and heard of for a while, now it will be fun to see it all come together.
Francis Bernard has cracked the two deep, which I don’t think is a major surprise, but he did it quickly. His experience I have no doubt helped him out, but Coach Whitt was talking him up pretty good at the presser Monday. I’m very interested to see him in red and see how much he contributes this season. I just keep seeing that freak INT he had against the Utes a couple of seasons ago.
Pretty status quo here, but the name Tre Strong is now on the two deep. Strong walked onto the team last season but couldn’t play due to transfer rules. Before Utah, he played two seasons at Montana State and had 13 tackles, one interception and one pass breakup in six starts as a sophomore, plus he played in nine games with six starts his freshman season, finishing with 20 tackles and six pass breakups.
Matt Gay is taking over as the place kicker for the kickoffs this season, instaead of Mitch Wishnowsky, which I think makes a lot of sense. Gay has a cannon for a leg and I think we’ll see more touchbacks this season.
Covey finds himself back as a starter in both return roles, and after some of his dynamic returns in 2015, this is no surprise. I’m happy to see a guy like Covey get his hands on the ball as much as possible.