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Utah Utes football by position


Jordan Wynn, 6-1, 195, Freshman

Terrance Cain, 5-11, 185, Junior

Who are these guys? Two newcomers to the program battled to a dead heat throughout camp in a bid to replace Sugar Bowl MVP Brian Johnson as the Utes' starting quarterback. Wynn, a true freshman, graduated from high school early and joined the team in January. He has gained 43 pounds since January and gained the respect of his new teammates in the process. Cain is a junior college All-American from Texas and is considered more of a dual threat.


Matt Asiata, 5-11, 230, Senior

Eddie Wide, 5-10, 195, Junior

Sausan Shakerin, 6-2, 225, Freshman

If all goes as planned, Asiata will become Utah's next 1,000-yard rusher. The former Hunter High and Snow College star will be the featured back this season instead of splitting duties with Darrell Mack, whose eligibility expired. Asiata has slimmed down a bit and shown improved speed in camp. Wide is versatile and has fared well in scrimmages this fall. Shakerin, a former Alta standout, has shown flashes of having a bright future for the Utes.


LT: Zane Beadles, 6-4, 305, Senior

LG: Caleb Schlauderaff, 6-4, 300, Junior

C: Zane Taylor, 6-2, 300, Junior

RG: Walter Watts, 6-2, 295, Junior

RG: Tevita Stevens, 6-1, 295, Freshman

RT: Tony Bergstrom, 6-6, 300, Sophomore

Led by Beadles, an All-American candidate and team captain, the Utes have a solid offensive line. They appear more than capable of being able to protect a new starting quarterback. Taylor is back after center after the coaching staff experimented with moving him to guard. He is joined by two other returning starters on the line — Beadles and Schlauderaff. The newcomers include Bergstrom and a combination of Watts and Stevens.


David Reed, 6-0, 190, Senior

Jereme Brooks, 5-7, 170, Junior

Aiona Key, 6-4, 195, Senior

Luke Matthews, 6-1, 205, Freshman

John Peel, 6-1, 185, Senior

Shaky Smithson, 5-11, 210, Junior

Elijah Wesson, 5-11, 185, Senior

DeVonte Christopher, 6-1, 190, Freshman

TE: Chris Joppru, 6-6, 267, Senior

Eight receivers could see significant action. The coaching staff has said there isn't a lot of separation in a pool of candidates that includes only two players (Brooks, Reed) who caught more than one pass last season. Key, Matthews, Peel, Smithson, Wesson and Christopher bring speed, athleticism and depth to the corps. At tight end, Joppru tops the cast. He made six catches last season, including a touchdown reception.


CB: R.J. Stanford, 5-11, 184, Senior

CB: Brandon Burton, 6-0, 184, Sophomore

NB: Lamar Chapman, 5-8, 170, Junior

FS: Robert Johnson, 6-2, 200, Senior

SS: Joe Dale, 5-11, 200, Senior

Replacing a pair of NFL draft picks in Sean Smith and Brice McCain is an obvious priority for the Utes. They've enlisted a pair of versatile corners to fill the void. Stanford and Burton rank among the top overall athletes on the team. Joining them in the secondary are returning starters Johnson and Dale, who man the safety spots. The duos could compliment each other well. Quickness will once again be a strength for Utah's defense.


Stevenson Sylvester, 6-2, 230, Senior

Mike Wright, 6-2, 235, Senior

Kepa Gaison, 5-10, 220, Senior

Chaz Walker, 5-11, 215, Sophomore

Matt Martinez, 6-0, 226, Sophomore

J.J. Williams, 6-0, 225, Sophomore

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said linebacker might be the deepest position on the team. Three senior starters (Sylvester, Wright and Gaison) are backed by a trio of talented sophomores (Walker, Martinez and Williams). Wright and Sylvester topped the Utes in tackles last season with 81 and 73 stops, respectively. Sylvester, a two-time team captain and NFL prospect, made the Mountain West's preseason all-conference team.


DE: Koa Misi, 6-3, 263, Senior

DE: Derrick Shelby, 6-3, 250, Sophomore

DE: Nai Fotu, 6-0, 240, Junior

DT: Lei Talamaivao, 6-2, 280, Sophomore

DT: Dave Kruger, 6-5, 272, Freshman

DT: Latu Heimuli, 6-3, 300, Freshman

NT: Kenape Eliapo, 6-0, 300, Senior

NT: Sealver Siliga, 6-3, 300, Sophomore

Misi's return from a back injury suffered in a camp is something to watch. The all-conference candidate is considered questionable for the season opener against Utah State and probable for the Sept. 13 game at San Jose State. Shelby and Fotu are talented ends who will hold down the fort. There's a youth movement inside where Eliapo is the lone senior. Everyone else on the depth chart is either a sophomore or a freshman.


P: Sean Sellwood, 6-3, 200, Freshman

PK: Ben Vroman, 6-0, 203, Senior

SN: Patrick Greene, 6-2, 210, Freshman

PR: Luke Matthews, 6-1, 205, Freshman

PR: Shaky Smithson, 5-11, 210, Junior

KR: David Reed, 6-0, 190, Senior

KR: Jereme Brooks, 5-7, 170, Junior

KR: Elijah Wesson, 5-11, 190, Senior

Is their without King Louie? Finding an adequate replacement for All-American punter/kicker Louie Sakoda has been a little more smooth than expected. Sellwood and Vroman stepped up in camp and secured the jobs. Utah's return game features a handful of fast athletes with skills. Matthews and Smithson are expected to handle punts, while Reed, Brooks and Wesson headline the kickoff return specialists.