‘Student of the game’: Utah’s Solomon Enis working to become key cog in Utes’ offense
Enis’ dad, Curtis Enis, is a former Penn State All-American running back who spent three seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears
While Utah junior wide receiver Solomon Enis has shown flashes of his potential, he’s working hard to take another big step forward in 2021 as a leader and as an integral part of the offense.
During the offseason, and the spring, the 6-foot-3, 208-pounder from Phoenix has been working hard doing the little things that can make him even better and more versatile.
“I really tapped into the playbook a lot more. I take pride in being a student of the game. Instead of just learning my position, I learn everyone’s just so I can be more versatile amongst the group,” Enis said. “I’m trying to be a guy where they can put me anywhere and be successful at it. I’m kind of hunkering down, locking in and focusing on the details as being a guy that the team can rely on. I’m trying to prepare myself to be the best teammate I can be.”
In 33 games with the Utes, including nine starts, Enis has caught 38 passes for 445 yards and two touchdowns.
In the spring game, he hauled in four passes for 44 yards and a TD.
Coach Kyle Whittingham said the plan this season is to optimize Enis’ potential by getting the ball into his hands more often.
“That’s something that you’re going to see going forward. Solomon does have a high ceiling and a lot of ability. One of his strengths is the 50-50 ball, letting him go up and get it,” Whittingham said. “That’s something we probably need to do more of than we’ve done in the past.
“Solo is a hard-worker, a team guy all the way. He never complains, at least not to me. He’s a willing blocker. He’s very physical on the outside in the block game. It’s just a matter of us trying to get him more touches and get him more involved.”
Enis’ dad, Curtis Enis, is a former Penn State All-American running back. He spent three seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears from 1998-2000.
Entering the 2021 campaign, Enis is willing to do whatever it takes to help the Utes’ offense, like being more of a frequent target.
“Just doing what I’ve been doing the past couple of years, working on being the best player I can be and when my time comes, it will come and then I’ve got to make the most of it,” he said. “This year, I’m working harder than ever. I’m trying to be that guy that people can rely on this year. I’m taking it more seriously.
“If they want me to be that guy, I can be that guy. If they want me to block more, I’ll do that. I’m working hard to be that guy that they can throw the ball to more and get those 50-50 balls.”
Enis said he’s enjoyed working with first-year wide receivers coach Chad Bumphis, who joined Whittingham’s staff not long before spring practice started. Bumphis was a grad assistant in the program in 2018, when Enis was a freshman.
“When he came in, we just got things rolling. It was like seeing him from my freshman year all over again. I love and appreciate him,” Enis said. “He pushes me to be the best I can be, which I love. It’s crazy how similar we are, though, competitive-wise.
“We butt heads a little but I love it because we all know it’s part of the game and we love the game so much. Having him here and me being an older guy, seeing what he brings to the table, he provides a lot. I’m glad he’s here and I’m ready to work with him.”
For Bumphis, having veteran wide receivers like Enis and Britain Covey has been beneficial.
“It’s really huge for me. They understand my style of coaching. The first time I was here, I was actually mostly inside with the slot guys” Bumphis said. “I got to spend a lot of time with Covey. It was Solo’s freshman year. Now that we’ve had some time together, you see them helping the younger guys.”