Utah wraps up spring practices Saturday with its annual spring game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

The scrimmage kicks off at noon, and will offer fans their first real glimpse at the 2022 Utes. 

Coach Kyle Whittingham said the spring game will feature plenty of young and inexperienced players. 

“It’s going to be really featuring a lot of the new guys, the guys that haven’t played a lot of football for us. We’re going to see how they react in as game-like of situation as we can create. You’ll see a lot of guys not play — some of the frontline guys. Probably half a dozen on each side of the ball. But it’s really for the guys that haven’t had much time at this level and see how they react.”

Among the young players that have been impressive this spring is running back Jaylon Glover.

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“He’s a dynamic kid,” said offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig. “He’s an early enrollee and these reps are going to be unbelievably valuable for him when he comes back for summer workouts and fall camp. He’s still learning the hows and the whys, but the raw talent is there. He’s got a lot of dynamic juice about him.”

Which players have stood out this spring, according to Whittingham?

“Jaylon Glover has been fantastic this spring. (Linebackers) Lander Barton, Justin Medlock, the same three that I mentioned before,” he said. “It’s great to get (JaTravis) Broughton back at corner. He’s had a very productive spring. (Defensive back) Malone Mataele has really started to develop. He started all year for us and he’s gotten even better. (Safety) Cole Bishop is a very good football player. The tight ends, as you’d expect. I’m pleased with the progress of the O-line and the D-tackles. They will be a strong suit for us as well.”

One of the high-profile position battles this spring has been the backup quarterback spot behind starter Cam Rising.

Ja’Quinden Jackson and Bryson Barnes have been competing against each other during the spring. 

“It’s still a battle for No. 2. J.J. and Bryson Barnes are really taking steps forward,” Whittingham said. “They’re neck-and-neck still. It’s really a dead heat at this point. Both of those guys are going to get extensive work in the game on Saturday. That might be what separates them.”

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The Utes held two previous scrimmages this spring, including one on April 16. 

“Outstanding,” Whittingham said about what he saw during that scrimmage. “It was a step forward from the first scrimmage, which is what we wanted to see happen … It was invaluable work, a great evaluation tool. One of the best things, nobody was seriously injured. You’re always concerned with that. We got work done, stayed healthy, and took a step forward. That’s all you can ask for.”

How does Whittingham feel about the way spring ball has gone? 

“It’s been outstanding. I believe every player in this program has gotten better, fundamentally and technique-wise,” he said. “That’s what football is all about — it’s all about fundamentals and technique. That will trump scheme any day of the week. Our coaches have done a really good job of teaching and demanding. And the players have responded.”

Tickets for the spring game are $22 for two chair tickets and $22 for four bleacher tickets. 

All funds raised through spring game ticket sales will be earmarked for the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship and the Aaron Lowe Memorial Scholarship.


Utah spring game

Saturday, noon, MDT

Rice-Eccles Stadium

TV: Pac-12 Network

Radio: KALL ESPN 700 AM