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Morning Links: Utes underrated?; Rodney Hood brings camp home; Van Noy looks like Lions’ top strong-side linebacker

SHARE Morning Links: Utes underrated?; Rodney Hood brings camp home; Van Noy looks like Lions’ top strong-side linebacker
Utes' head football coach, Kyle Whittingham talks with other coaches during the first fall practice at the University of Utah's baseball field in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016.

Utes’ head football coach, Kyle Whittingham talks with other coaches during the first fall practice at the University of Utah’s baseball field in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016.

Weston Kenney, Deseret News

There are plenty of expectations surrounding the University of Utah football team as fall camp continues, But not everyone thinks they are high enough.

In a Fansided article, John Buhler writes, "Are the Division I coaches sleeping on the Utah Utes again? With the Arizona universities in a bit of flux, Colorado not even sniffing bowl eligibility, and too much quirkiness in the Los Angeles schools, couldn’t one argue that Utah is the most consistent program in the Pac-12 South entering 2016?"

After talking about how good of a defensive-minded coach that Kyle Whittingham is, Buhler makes his case for the Utes. "The Utes will be solid in the trenches on both sides of the ball this year. Barring a Heisman campaign from Rosen in Westwood or if Helton is the next Pete Carroll, Utah feels like the safe pick to win the Pac-12 South. With that being the case, how are the Utes not a top 25 team at the start of the year? The coaches gave the Utes the shaft in this initial poll."

Rodney Hood runs camp in hometown

While Utah Jazz players Raul Neto and Joe Ingles are playing for their countries in the Olympics, Rodney Hood is back in Meridian, Mississippi, running a camp for kids.

Elton Hayes of the Meridian Star covered Hood’s second year running the camp and why it's important to him.

He quotes Hood, saying, “It means a lot to know that my personal brand is growing, and that I came from the same background as these guys playing in hot, sweaty gyms from the high school ranks and things like that.”

Hood continued, “They see that, and they want to come up in the same footsteps. It means a lot. When I was that age, there were Monta Ellis and Travis Outlaw and guys like that. It means a lot for them to come out here.”

Kyle Van Noy looks to become starter with the Detroit Lions

A lot of the observations by Kyle Meinke of MLive from the Detroit Lions' last public practice were focused on Kyle Van Noy and how he is progressing in camp.

"Kyle Van Noy continues to make strides toward wrapping up the strong-side linebacker job. He's repped there throughout the offseason, and made one of his best plays Friday when he broke up a pass intended for tight end Ben McCord."

Meinke continued, "Not only did he anticipate the pass well, but he was in good position as well -- something he wasn't doing earlier in his career, and something coordinator Teryl Austin has said he's doing much better with this offseason."

Head coach Jim Caldwell also had some good things to say about Van Noy, "Every year he's come in in better shape. He's in better shape coming back this fall than I've ever seen him. Really doing all the little things right, and I think you see it out here. It's happening play in and play out. But there's always a lot of competition at those positions, and I think he's approaching it the right way."

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for DeseretNews.com. Contact him at jyeomans@deseretdigital.com.