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Utah HC Kyle Whittingham indicated that his team's goal for the season is to win a Pac-12 championship.

"We haven't accomplished anything yet — we haven't won a championship," Whittingham said at Pac-12 Media Days. The conference media has picked the Utes to finish third in the South and Whittingham is just fine with that for motivational purposes. "I think being under the radar is more our M.O.," he explained. "It doesn't really matter what people think going in." The Utes figure to have a strong defense in 2016 (no surprise there). The offense could be more problematic, particularly given the loss of RB Devontae Booker. Booker might not have flashed Dalvin Cook-esque wattage in terms of his breakaway speed, but he offered consistency and reliability to the extreme while lending the offense something of a center of gravity.
Jul 17 - 2:35 PM

Utah redshirt senior C Hiva Lutui retired due to the ACL injury he suffered at the end of April.

Tough blow for the Utes. Lutui was expected to take over for graduating center Saiosi Aiono in 2016. Then came April's knee injury, which ended up being worse than originally expected. HC Kyle Whittingham expressed initial hope that the 6-foot-2, 300-pounder might be able to return to action in October. With that no longer an option, the team will be forced to scramble. The Salt Lake Tribune's Kyle Goon speculated that "[t]he Utes may move senior tackle J.J. Dielman or senior guard Isaac Asiata to center, depending on positional depth and if Snow College tackle Garett Bolles is ready to start."
Jul 13 - 3:49 PM

A rival Pac-12 head coach said Utah "is probably the best in the league."

"Even when they were using Mountain West players, they were still tough to score on because they play extremely disciplined," the coach said. "Now that they are recruiting better, they are getting even tougher. They force you into mistakes." Utes led the country in sacks (55) in 2014 and led the Pac-12 in turnovers forced (34) last fall. "They haven't had too many recruiting splashes, but they've done a very good job developing the players they have," a different Pac-12 coach said. "And their special teams are the best in the league. That's kept them in a lot of games."
Source: ESPN
Jun 21 - 6:10 PM

A Pac-12 head coach and his staff were impressed when scouting Utah redshirt junior QB Troy Williams.

"We looked at him and were impressed," he said. "I don't know why things didn't work out at Washington, but when you get new coaches, sometimes things don't mesh. It will be interesting to see how much he developed in junior college." Now that Travis Wilson and backup Kendal Thompson are gone, Williams has been given the keys to Utah's offense. A four-star 2013 recruit who signed with and then transferred out of Washington, Williams was rated the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country in his cycle.
Source: ESPN
Jun 21 - 5:32 PM

Utah junior WR Kenric Young was cited for assault over the weekend.

Young allegedly punched someone in the face "multiple times," after the man asked the receiver to "pull his pants up" due to women and children being present. Young apparently took exception to this, and threw a beer bottle at the man. A second citation was issued to a woman for disorderly conduct. Young barely saw the field last season, making three catches for 17 yards.
Source: KSL
Jun 7 - 10:18 AM

Utah senior TE Evan Moeai has been granted a fifth season of eligibility and will play for the Utes in 2016.

Moeai started the opening game of the season, caught one pass in the first five snaps, and then suffered a season ending injury to his lower leg. The Utes' offense will have a different look this season with super productive running back Devontae Booker departing for the NFL.
May 24 - 10:47 AM

Bengals signed Utah LB Gionni Paul.

Paul (5’10, 231) has several obstacles that block his chances of successfully navigating the metaphorical NFL river. First and most obviously, his overall physical stature is less than ideal for a linebacker. Arizona LB Scooby Wright -- drafted by the Browns at the end of the seventh round) -- is the posterboy for diminutive linebackers in this draft class and even Scooby has two inches and about 10 pounds on Paul. Add on a troubling speed aspect (4.95 seconds in the 40-yard dash on his Pro Day) and you have the recipe for a tough uphill climb to contribute at the professional level.
May 12 - 3:12 PM

Utah HC Kyle Whittingham said junior QB Troy Williams was the "most impressive" quarterback on the roster this spring.

With Travis Wilson and backup Kendal Thompson lost to graduation, the Utes are on the lookout for their next quarterback. Williams began at Washington before transferring for one stat-packed season at a JUCO. He's the frontrunner heading into the summer over Brandon Cox and Tyler Huntley. If Williams prevails, circle Oct. 29 on your schedule. That's the day the four-star 2013 recruit could hypothetically exact revenge on the Huskies.
May 10 - 6:25 PM

Jets signed Utah P Tom Hackett.

Hackett (5'11/198) twice won the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter, finishing his career second all time in Utah history in yards per punt (45.2). He placed 44% of his career punts inside the opposing 20-yard line, and 21% inside the 10. Hackett also went 4-of-4 on converting fake punts into first downs. A rugby-style punter and Australia native, Hackett has field-flipping upside as an NFL punter, and can also placehold and kick off.
May 4 - 4:32 PM

Redskins signed Utah S/LB Tevin Carter.

Carter (6'1/218) spent two seasons at Utah after transferring from community college, tallying nine tackles for loss and four INTs as a 16-game starter. Carter showed adequate-to-good athleticism at the Utes' Pro Day, running 4.54 with a 10-foot-4 broad jump and 34-inch vertical. While Carter is an aggressive, efficient tackler, his shortage of change-of-direction ability and hip stiffness may necessitate a linebacker-type role in the pros. Ultimately, he may max out on special teams.
May 3 - 6:40 PM

49ers signed Utah DE/OLB Jason Fanaika.

Fanaika (6'2/271) spent two years with Utah after a Mormon mission, spreading 20 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and three forced fumbles across 18 starts. Fanaika shuttled between defensive end and linebacker in college, but offers lineman-level athleticism with 4.92 speed and a 9-foot-5 broad jump. Already 24 years old with a reputation for sub-par conditioning, Fanaika is a low-ceiling, low-floor prospect lacking explosive elements to his game.
May 1 - 2:15 PM

Panthers signed Utah LB Jared Norris.

Norris (6'1/241) made 32 career starts for the Utes, tallying 24 tackles for loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles. He earned second-team All-Pac 12 as a senior. Norris sent up athletic red flags in Indy, managing a 4.80 forty and 29 1/2-inch vertical. An active, high-energy linebacker, Norris is headed for a special teams and reserve duty in the pros.
May 1 - 12:41 PM

Broncos selected Utah RB Devontae Booker with the No. 136 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Booker (5'11/219) spent two seasons at Utah after a JUCO transfer, parlaying 560 carries into 2,773 yards (4.95 YPC) and 21 TDs. Also an adept receiver, Booker caught 80 passes in just 23 games. On tape, Booker showed a sensational aptitude for making himself skinny and fitting through cracks, as well as quick feet and run-finishing ability. Concerns include Booker's small hands (8 5/8"), advanced age -- he'll be a 24-year-old rookie -- and a torn meniscus that cut his final college season three games short. Ultimately, Booker teased an NFL-starter-quality skill set at Utah and is a promising pro prospect.
Apr 30 - 1:59 PM

An NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Utah RB Devontae Booker would be "a starter you wouldn't really be excited about."

"He's a really good No. 2," the scout said. "Really good vision, quick feet, has a burst, good hands out of the backfield to catch. But he has put the ball on the ground (16 fumbles) and pass protection's not great." Booker's Wonderlic scores of 8 and 15 concern some. "He's got a little character concern and some injury issues," said another scout. "He's got quickness. He's got traits but he's not a complete guy." A third scout concluded: "He kind of does a little bit of everything well. Runs hard. Got hands. Not sudden or a blazer."
Apr 26 - 7:11 PM

CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang tabbed Utah RB Devontae Booker as a mid-round sleeper.

At this point, it is difficult to truly view Booker as a sleeper -- some analysts like him as the third-best running back in this class -- but Rang is a fan regardless. "Booker lacks breakaway speed but he has vision, runs low and hard and possesses capable hands out of the backfield," the analyst wrote. During his personal Pro Day event earlier in April, the bulldozing back said that he was about 70% recovered from a torn meniscus that kept him out of action in November and December. He should be considered a likely Day 2 selection. If he slides to Day 3, don't expect him to be on the board for long.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 24 - 1:33 PM


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