Player News

Date:

Utah redshirt senior DE Nate Orchard was given a preseason Round 4 grade by TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

Pauline lists Orchard as an OLB, so apparently the analyst feels he projects better to that position in the pros (the rankings were presented without comment). The Utes' prospect has successfully added 60 pounds of muscle to his frame since starting his career as a 195-pound receiver. Orchard has shown an ability to drop in space, so a career as a pro linebacker is easy to project.
Jul 13 - 10:39 PM

Rob Rang of CBS Sports wrote that Utah senior safety Brian Blechen "has 'tweener traits but has been too productive for too long to ignore."

Blechen missed last season with knee tendinitis. "He is an instinctive, physical defender who has shown a knack for making big plays throughout his career, notching eight interceptions and six forced fumbles in 35 career starts," Rang wrote. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder runs a 4.60 forty. "Blechen was recruited as a quarterback but his blue-collar style and grit earned him a spot on defense and he won the strong safety role in his first week of practice," Rang wrote. "Blechen has 'tweener traits but has been too productive for too long to ignore."
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 28 - 2:00 PM

Utah junior OL Jeremiah Poutasi "could emerge as a draftable commodity" if he has a smooth transition to guard this season, wrote CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

Poutasi started at LT as a freshman before moving to RT last year. The massive 6-foot-5, 345-pounder (he's reportedly down to 330) is a natural guard, however, and that's where he'll play in 2014. Good thing, too, because that's where the NFL sees him. "[Poutasi] is surprisingly quick and light on his feet," Rang wrote. "He does not possess ideal flexibility or length and struggles a bit with leverage but could emerge as a draftable commodity if he takes to the new role."
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 28 - 1:47 PM
Eric Rowe - DB - Utes

The rate of Utah senior DB Eric Rowe's acclimation to cornerback this season will determine his NFL prospects.

After spending three years as a standout starting free safety, Rowe will shift to CB to replace Keith McGill, a fourth-rounder of the Raiders. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Rowe has great size and elite speed, with a 4.39 forty. "It remains to be seen how well Rowe will acclimate to cornerback," observed CBS Sports' Rob Rang. "He shows good balance, a quick turning motion and the fluid acceleration while operating as a deep centerfielder. He's alert in coverage and is quick to come downhill in run support. He breaks down well to make the efficient open-field tackle and flashes big-hitting ability. With only two interceptions among his 21 passes broken up, turning some of those deflections into turnovers would be a quick way to boost his draft stock."
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 27 - 1:56 PM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang believes Utah senior DE Nate Orchard is a "legitimate NFL prospect" with his "combination of size, natural athleticism and his hard work."

"Orchard's ascent as a legitimate NFL prospect is due to a combination of size, natural athleticism and his hard work," Rang wrote. Orchard originally started his career as a 195 pound receiver for the Utes, and then made the switch to play DE. The Utes prospect successfully added 60 pounds of muscle to his frame, and he has still kept his quickness and balance over the years. His agility has helped with shedding blockers and getting to the quarterback. With Orchard's ability to drop in space, the 6-foot-4, 255 pound DE could impress evaluators with his versatility at the next level.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 27 - 1:14 PM

Utah senior WR Dres Anderson "boasts impressive first-step acceleration and lateral agility," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"Anderson boasts impressive first-step acceleration and lateral agility to slip through creases and break away from the defense. He's frequently targeted on relatively simple passes like screens and as vertical threat but also runs pro-style routes (slants, comebacks, crosses, drags) that require more sophistication," Rang wrote. The Utah prospect had a strong junior season, becoming just the seventh player in Ute history to pass the 1,000 yard receiving mark with (1,002 yards). The 6-foot-1, 187-pound Anderson (son of former NFL WR Willie "Flipper" Anderson) had seven catches of 50 yards or more and 10 receptions of at least 40 yards for the Utes in 2013.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 26 - 12:20 PM

Scouts Inc.'s Kevin Weidl thinks Utah redshirt sophomore RB James "Bubba" Poole runs like his hair is on fire.

Weidl was actually watching receiver Dres Anderson, but couldn't keep his eyes off Poole. The running back redshirted his first season in 2012 but compiled 607 yards and two touchdowns on 149 attempts in 2013. Poole also totaled 229 receiving yards on 29 catches.
Jun 25 - 1:09 PM

Utah junior QB Travis Wilson has been medically cleared to play after dealing with an intracranial artery (head) injury.

The school's athletics twitter account is already calling Wilson the starter, so things must be trending that way. Wilson was cleared to participate in spring ball, but things were not looking good back in February. Doctors were calling Wilson's issues at the time "concussion related," so this is a note worth watching.
Jun 24 - 2:30 PM

Utah senior WR Dres Anderson had seven catches of 50 yards or more and 10 receptions of at least 40 yards last season, tying for the NCAA lead.

Pronounced "Drezz," the Utes' star is the son of former NFL WR Willie "Flipper" Anderson. NFL.com considers the 6-foot-1, 187-pounder one of college football's most explosive players, and with good reason. Amongst NCAA receivers with 50 or more catches last year, only Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr. finished with a yards-per-catch average better than Anderson's 18.91.
Source: NFL.com
May 27 - 10:21 PM

Chargers signed Utah undrafted free agent DT Tenny Palepoi.

Palepoi (6-foot-1 1/8, 298) made 14 starts in two seasons with the Utes after transferring from JUCO, recording 12.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. He earned second-team All-Pac 12 honors as a senior. Palepoi is a decent athlete (30 1/2-inch vertical, 9-foot-3 broad jump), but has short arms (30 1/2") and lacks bulk to hold up as a full-time nose. If he makes the team, he could contribute as a rotational defensive end in the Chargers' 3-4.
May 14 - 9:40 PM

Jets selected Utah OLB Trevor Reilly with the No. 235 overall pick in the 214 NFL draft.

Reilly (6-foot-4 3/4, 245) was a 32-game starter for the Utes, tallying 20 career sacks, 37 tackles for loss, and eight forced fumbles. Already 26 years old after a two-year LDS mission, Reilly benefited statistically from dominating 20- and 21-year-olds in the Pac 12, and is an average athlete with 4.66 speed, a 30 1/2-inch vertical, and 9-foot-9 broad jump. Reilly was a productive college pass rusher who's unlikely to make much NFL noise.
May 10 - 6:14 PM

Raiders selected Utah CB Keith McGill with the No. 116 overall pick in the NFL draft.

McGill (6-foot-3, 211) made only 13 career starts for the Utes, missing all of 2012 with a major shoulder injury. He didn't play football in 2008, before taking it back up in JUCO for the 2009-2010 seasons. McGill is already 25, but was a draftnik favorite for his upside as a press corner with Brandon Browner-like size and 33 1/4-inch arms. McGill is still learning how to play press, of course, after being used as a safety and off-zone corner in college. 25-year-old projects don't typically end well in the NFL, but perhaps McGill will beat the odds.
May 10 - 12:59 PM

Utah FB Karl Williams has visited the Colts, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan.

Fullbacks are a rare breed in the NFL these days, especially ones with minimal receiving experience. Williams caught 19 passes for 115 yards during his three years of playing time. He did record a 4.50 forty at the school's pro day, however. The Colts only have five draft picks, so maybe they are evaluating undrafted free agents even more than usual.
Apr 18 - 12:23 PM

Former Oklahoma redshirt sophomore QB Kendal Thompson will transfer to Utah.

The news only comes a few days after Utah quarterback Travis Wilson was cleared to play for the 2014 season. Thompson only has 13 attempts and 4 completions during his career, totaling 64 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Feb 26 - 1:01 PM

Utah junior QB Travis Wilson (concussion) has been cleared to participate in spring ball.

Wilson's season ended early in November when he suffered a concussion against Arizona State. Preliminary tests intimated that Wilson's career might be in jeopardy due to damage in his intracranial artery. Fortunately, that turned out not to be the case. Wilson has only been cleared for non-contact drills, but Lya Wodraska of the Salt Lake Tribune reminds us that the "Utes don't hit their QBs anyway."
Feb 25 - 9:43 PM


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