This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It appears freshman Travis Wilson's move into the backup role behind returning starting quarterback Jordan Wynn is official. Utah's coaches have been hesitant to say Wilson separated himself from fellow freshman Chase Hansen, often complimenting both for their efforts in spring, but the Utes have decided it best for Hansen to go on a mission in December, according to school officials. Wilson, the 6-foot-6, 204-pound freshman out of San Clemente, Calif., had a very good second-half of camp and now is listed as the backup to Wynn on the Utes' post-spring depth chart. Wilson improved in "everything," according to coach Kyle Whittingham. With Jon Hays returning as well, Whittingham likes the depth the Utes have at quarterback. "We've done very well there with recruiting," he said. Here is a breakdown of how the Utes stand, now that we have the latest depth chart.Offensive line:The Utes are comfortable with senior Tevita Stevens at center, junior Jeremiah Tofaeono at left guard and senior Sam Brenner at right guard, but the rest of the line is a work in progress, in the words of Whittingham. The biggest concern are the tackle spots where junior Percy Taumoelau and redshirt freshman Daniel Nielson are slated to start at left and right tackle. The Utes have several linemen coming in in the fall who they expect to contend for the starting spot. The player who might have missed the biggest opportunity in spring ball to prove himself was Miles Mason, who joined the Utes late last year but immediately made his way into the 2-deep. He can play both tackle and guard but is listed behind the inexperienced Nielson. QB - The coaches are excited about Wilson's development, no doubt, but Wynn has the experience and had a much better throwing motion this year than last season. Hays was his usual steady self despite not getting many reps.Running back - Harvey Langi was the surprise of camp and is listed ahead of newcomer Kelvin York as John White's backup. Langi got several chances to prove himself last year but just couldn't deliver, which is one of the reasons the Utes were so excited to sign York out of the junior college ranks. Now with three strong backs the Utes are loaded.Wide receiver - The receivers made some of the least noise in camp, which isn't a surprise given the veteran players on the depth chart with DeVonte Christopher, Dres Anderson, Luke Matthews and Reggie Dunn all returning. Matthews and Dunn both are listed as possible starters, that will be a battle to watch in fall camp to see who gets the starting call.Tight end/H-back: The Utes are loaded here with Jake Murphy listed as the starter at tight end and returner Dallin Rogers, who missed spring ball while recovering from injury, as the starter at H-back. Westlee Tonga, moved back from defense to tight end when David Rolf got hurt in spring ball, had a good enough spring that he could stay with the offense. Coach Aaron Roderick says he is going to use the tight ends more in 2012, good call judging on the Utes' depth.Defensive line: This might just be the best defensive line the Utes have had with Nate Fakahafua at left end, Dave Kruger at tackle, Star Lotulelei at tackle and Joe Kruger at right end. Lotulelei should be in for a beast of a season this year thanks to his talent alone, but the presence of the Kruger brothers will only help him. Former running back Thretton Palamo is listed behind Fakahafua and is a work in progress. Dave Kruger's backup is Junior Salt, who committed to Florida then switched to the Utes. He will join the Utes in the fall. Linebackers: Trevor Reilly is the only returning player with much experience, leaving the Utes young here. However defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake liked how Jacoby Hale, LT Filiaga, V.J. Fehoko and Jared Norris all played in spring ball. it is still a group that needs work, but the Utes have a long track record of turning out solid talent in this area.Cornerbacks: Mo Lee and Ryan Lacy are the starters but both Wykie Freeman and Chandler Johnson had their moments in the spring and are capable backups. Keith McGill is listed as Lacy's backup but is still making the adjustment from safety to corner. He had a relatively quiet spring but is a player to keep an eye on in fall camp. Senior Reggie Topps is indefinitely suspended for breaking team rules. Topps played in every game last year and finished with 33 tackles. Being without his experience will hurt the Utes. Safeties: Sophomore Eric Rowe is starting at free safety and Brian Blechen is the starting strong safety. Blechen is a proven player and Rowe is solid, but backup Quade Chappuis had a solid spring and is someone to track in the fall. Junior Mike Honeycutt is listed as the starting nickel back and had a solid spring.Special Teams: It's status quo here with returning punter Sean Sellwood, placekicker Coleman Petersen and kickoff specialist Nick Marsh. Whittingham wasn't happy with Petersen's inconsistency in the spring, but he is still more consistent than Marsh so I can't see the Utes making a change there. Junior Griff McNabb is slated to return punts and DeVonte Christopher is listed as the kickoff returner.