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August 10, 2009
On tap for week two
Week two of Utah's football camp will feature the first day of full pads, the start of two-a-days and the first scrimmage. The NCAA-mandated acclimatization period ends with Tuesday's practice and the Utes will be in full pads for the start of double days on Wednesday. The first of three scrimmages is scheduled for Thursday. Practices and scrimmages are closed to the public.
A spot remains open on the offensive line, where four players are trying to join Zane Taylor, Zane Beadles, Caleb Schlauderaff and Tony Bergstrom in the starting lineup. Taylor, honorable mention all-MWC a year ago at center, returned to his old position last week, but he could still end up at right guard-where he experimented in the spring. The remaining position is up for grabs among Walter Watts, Tevita Stevens, Tyler Williams and Derek Tuimauga. Watts got most of the reps with the first unit late last week.
Lamar Chapman has assumed the role of starting nickel back and will also back up Brandon Burton at one corner position. Moving into the two deep at corner is senior Justin Jones. True freshmen Victor Spikes and Chris Washington impressed in their first week of camp as Utes. They are listed as the co-backups at free safety behind preseason all-MWC senior Robert Johnson. In other DB news, redshirt freshman Ryan Lacy has moved from receiver to cornerback and walk-on freshman Griffin McNabb has moved from cornerback to receiver.
INSIDE THE HUDDLE
The battle at quarterback will continue until at least Thursday, when the coaches plan to trim the field from three to two after the scrimmage. Dividing reps equally until then are junior Corbin Louks, JC transfer Terrance Cain and true freshman Jordan Wynn.
Defensive end could be Utah's strongest position with three starters for two positions. Derrick Shelby and Nai Fotu are the co-starters at left end and are co-backups at right end behind preseason all-MWC senior Koa Misi. Showing potential star status has been sophomore Matt Martinez, who has stood out at middle linebacker even while playing behind by last year's tackle leader Mike Wright at middle linebacker. The Utes appear improved at punt returner, where Luke Matthews and Shaky Smithson are playing well. He's out of eligibility, but "King" Louie Sakoda is back helping the Utes on the field. Sakoda has signed on as a student assistant coach and is working with the kickers and punters. Senior Ben Vroman is trying to fend off true freshman Nick Marsh and JC walk-on Joe Phillips for the place-kicking job. Marsh is also challenging redshirt freshman Sean Sellwood at punter.