SALT LAKE CITY — Highly touted offensive lineman Bamidele Olaseni is officially with the Utah Utes. The NJCAA All-American from Garden City Community College in Kansas is practicing with the team after completing academic requirements.
Olaseni participated in a modified practice Friday after being cleared to play and was on the field Saturday. He’ll be able to put on shoulder pads and a helmet on Monday as he works through the NCAA-mandated five-day acclimatization period.
The late arrival checked in at 6-foot-8 and 337 pounds. Whittingham is hopeful Olaseni will get down to a maximum of 330 before the season begins. The big man, he added, has an 88-inch wing span.
“I don’t know what Rudy Gobert’s is but it’s closing in on that,” Whittingham said.
LINEBACKER DEPTH: Whittingham said Utah’s depth at linebacker is limited in the wake of Manny Bowen’s retirement. Francis Bernard and Devin Lloyd are the projected starters, while junior Trennan Carlson and Stanford transfer Sione Lund give the Utes four players in the rotation.
“We need a fifth and ideally a sixth,” said Whittingham, who noted that no one has stepped up in those roles to say they’re ready to play.
EXTRA POINTS: Camp resumes on Monday, kicking off the third and final week . . . Utah’s annual Fan Fest is set for Saturday, Aug. 17 from 6-8 p.m., at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Admission is free . . . Whittingham wasn’t surprised to hear that former Utah kicker Matt Gay connected on a 55-yard attempt for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “He’s good from 60-plus,” he said. “Good for Matt.”