As we wrap up this first week, in the next couple of practice sessions, things are going to start to get a bit stale for the Utah football team, as they approach the dog days of fall camp. Fortunately, all reports are this is a veteran team that is approaching fall camp as you’d want a veteran group to approach a very important fall camp.
Bill Riley pointed out three defenders that caught his eye. Corrion Ballard’s name has popped up the last couple of days, which is great to see after his knee injury last season. He’s goign to be one of the erasers out of the backfield, and his ability to make plays in the secondary is going to be huge. It does sound like the pick six that he got, which was off Huntley, may have been a bad route by Dixon. Overall, haven’t heard much on turnovers from QB1, which is promising as well.
Blackmon continues to be a stud, and if he can shut down half of the field, that goes a long way for a defense. A name that may be forgotten at times is Donovan Thompson at linebacker. I’ve always liked him, and he reminded me of Gianni Paul coming out of high school. The dude has a nose for the ball and just makes plays. I’m excited to see him spotlighted more as things move forward.
This is a great sign, when a group like the wide outs are shining. Utah has a great running game, and if they compliment it with some playmakers on the outside, which it appears they have, that will really open up the offense. I’m not sure if I recall Whitt highlighting the wide outs before this early in fall camp. With Covey, Simpkins, Mariner, Boyd, Nacua and others (I know I’m forgetting at least two guys), there are a lot of options for Huntley. RIley also said that Harding is happy with the o-line thus far too, and that he’s working on getting them to be eight deep going into the season. That will be a big thing to watch, just if/when a guy misses a game or two that they don’t miss a beat.
This is my observation, but the team looks and feels more like they’ve been at camp for 3 weeks. They’re close knit, playing aggressive, and they know what they’re doing. Still mistakes happening, but far more advanced than last season.— Josh Furlong (@JFurKSL) August 4, 2018
This was something I eluded to above, and is probably the tweet of the day. To have a group of this many guys, with this much skill, returning to the program along with the coaching staff, it’s all about refinement and getting better. I’m guessing after next week they’ll be itching for Weber State.
Jack Tuttle is looking really good out there. Was working a lot with the 2’s and got more reps than Jason Shelley in media observation. Whittingham, though, said it’s still a battle for the backup spot between the two.— Josh Furlong (@JFurKSL) August 4, 2018
The battle for the No. 2 QB spot is interesting. Sounds like Tuttle had a good run in the media session today, but I’m guessing they’re still giving both guys equal reps with the twos for about another week and then they’ll solidify the depth chart. I wouldn’t count Shelly out of the running for the backup job, but Tuttle’s raw ability and arm talent may be too much to overcome.
Overall, a great first three days of practice, based off of reports. I’m hearing everything I want to hear, and I can’t wait until we get another week under our belts and then we will probably have a better idea of the offensive line look, and maybe how the two deep with the wide outs start to shape up.