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Utah Utes football: Watts listed at top of depth chart

Former All-American kicker Louie Sakoda, left, works with Joe Phillips, right, and the other kickers at the University of Utah's football practice at the school's baseball field.
Former All-American kicker Louie Sakoda, left, works with Joe Phillips, right, and the other kickers at the University of Utah's football practice at the school's baseball field.
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

Walter Watts isn't taking anything for granted.

Although pleased to see his name on top of the depth chart at right guard, the 6-foot-2, 295-pound junior knows the starting job is still up for grabs as the Utah Utes enter their second week of camp.

"It feels real good. I've been working hard to get to this starting position, But it's not over," Watts said. "Anything can happen. I've just got to continue working hard, pushing myself and just make sure I stay in this starting position."

Watts is one of five candidates, including Viliamu Nau, Tevita Stevens, Derek Tuimauga and Tyler Williams, competing for a starting job on Utah's offensive line. The coaching staff vows to put the five best lineman on the field, seeking someone to join left tackle Zane Beadles, left guard Caleb Schlauderaff, center Zane Taylor and right tackle Tony Bergstrom.

"There really is no solidification on the offensive line depth chart yet, nor do we expect that for the next several days," Whittingham said. "We're just going to keep working with all of them and the cream will rise to the top."

Until then, a battle will rage.

Watts knows it.

"It's going to be a great competition," he said. ". . . It's going to be a good camp."

LOUIE, LOUIE: Former Utah All-American Louie Sakoda has rejoined the Utes as a student assistant. He's working with the kickers and punters in camp.

"I finally feel like I'm actually doing something with my life again," joked Sakoda, who plans to re-enroll in school while awaiting an NFL or other professional football opportunity. "So it's a good position I'm in right now."

Sakoda has been welcomed back enthusiastically.

"As long as he's available we'd like to continue to use him," Whittingham said.

EXTRA POINTS: The Utes have completed the NCAA's acclimatization period and will practice in full gear today. They'll begin two-a-days on Wednesday and scrimmage on Thursday . . . Lamar Chapman now tops the depth chart at nickel back . . . Whittingham said wide receiver Ryan Lacy, a redshirt freshman with long arms and 4.3 speed in the 40, has been moved to cornerback. Walk-on Griffin McNabb is going the other direction, moving from defense to offense.

e-mail: dirk@desnews.com