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Utah Utes football: Team grinds through Day 1 of two-a-day sessions

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah football team wrapped up the first of its two-a-day practices Wednesday just before 7 p.m., and the majority of the 105 players were glad it was over.

For veterans like Brandon Burton and Christian Cox, however, it was no big deal.

"The veterans are used to it, but to the young guys, it's kind of a grind," said Burton, one the Utes' starting cornerbacks. "But they'll get used to it."

"It is what it is," said Cox. "It's a grind, but it's more mental than anything. Maybe it's different for me, because I'm a senior."

There's little rest for the weary, as the Utes will be back at it this morning at 9 a.m. for their first scrimmage of fall camp at the stadium.

Two-a-days only last a week, with the next one scheduled for Friday at 9 a.m. and 4:55 p.m. Next week's two-a-days will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

INJURY REPORT: The Utes were obviously concerned when projected starting offensive tackle John Cullen went out with a knee injury in Wednesday morning's practice. However, although he was in "the pit" all through the afternoon practice, it's just a bruised knee and he is listed as "day-to-day."

Receiver DeVonte Christopher also suffered a knee injury and may not be back for a week. Others in the pit included defensive tackles Latu Heimuli and Joape Pela and offensive linemen Sam Brenner, Kapua Sai and Ron Tongaonevai.

UTE NOTES: For today's scrimmage, the Utes expect to run about 100 plays, mostly with second- and third-stringers. ... James Aiono, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound transfer from Snow College, has been moved back to defensive tackle after a couple of days at end. Coach John Pease explained that he was moved back after it was determined Derrick Shelby would be OK after an injury. Pease also said Aiono could go back to end if needed. ... There's still no kickoff time for the Iowa State game on Oct. 9, and it may not be announced until after the season starts. ... Iowa State players delayed their two-a-days Wednesday so they could help with sandbags around the flooding waters, which are wreaking havoc in Ames and affecting the athletic facilities. ... The latest issue of Golf Magazine lists the best golfers in the NFL. Making the first team in the defensive backfield is former Ute Eric Weddle, who is listed as a 7.5 handicap.

Ute camp report

Day 6: The Utes had their first double-day of camp. They practiced in the morning at Rice-Eccles Stadium and in the late afternoon at Ute Field.

Standouts: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said the offense, as a whole, stood out in the morning session. The line dominated the defense in short-yardage drills.

Injuries: Left tackle John Cullen injured his knee in the morning session and is now listed as "day-to-day." Wide receiver DeVonte Christopher was also held out with a sore knee for precautionary reasons.

Next up: The Utes have a 100-play scrimmage scheduled for Rice-Eccles Stadium this morning. All practices and scrimmages are closed to the public.

e-mail: sor@desnews.com