Knowing the offense was going to be more up-tempo in 2013, Utah receiver Kenneth Scott decided to get in better shape by taking to Utah's hills.
Several times a week Scott would call his fellow receivers and many of them would head up trails near the "U" that overlooks the Salt Lake Valley.
They discovered two things: Running in the foothills isn't exactly easy, but it is good training.
"Me, Jake Murphy, Quinton Pedroza and others would get up at 7 a.m. and get up there," Scott said. The air is thin up there, so it was really good to get us conditioned. We wanted to be ready for this offense, and that got us conditioned. We were running in snow, but it was a beautiful view up there."
The 6-foot-3, 211-pound Scott said he is ready for a larger role after finishing the 2012 season third on the team with 32 catches for 360 yards and three touchdowns.
"I've been running routes every day and even when the body has been tired I've been working," he said. "We are going to pass it a lot, so that means everybody can get in on the action. It should be really good."
Tuesday was the first day of live action for the Utes, and despite a solid first week of practice, the Utes didn't thrill coach Kyle Whittingham.
Whittingham said the team lost its composure too much and the tempo wasn't where he wanted it to be.
"Sometimes when you get into live work, you press too much," he said. "We have to settle down, work on techniques and keep the focus."
Whittingham said running backs James Poole and Karl Williams were both solid.
Depth chart change
The one major change on the depth chart this week is junior Pedroza has moved ahead of senior Anthony Denham at receiver.
Pedroza has contributed mainly on special teams, but could be a breakout player for the Utes this year.
The 6-foot-2, 216-pound Pedroza played just one year of high school football but was the league MVP for Chino High in California, finishing with 54 catches for 1,078 yards and 16 touchdowns, all records for the school.
He also excelled at returning punts and kickoffs.
Sophomore defender Jason Whittingham will undergo shoulder surgery Wednesday and will miss the rest of spring practice. … The Utes practice Thursday from 3-5 p.m.