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Utah football: JaTravis Broughton working hard to be starter at cornerback

Sophomore on top of the depth chart as Utes restock their secondary

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The Utes celebrate after defensive back JaTravis Broughton (4) intercepts an Idaho State pass during game in Salt Lake City.

The Utah Utes celebrate after defensive back JaTravis Broughton (4) intercepts an Idaho State Bengals pass during a game in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Broughton is confident the Utes can reload in the secondary after losing all five starters from the 2019 unit.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Sophomore cornerback JaTravis Broughton is optimistic that the Utah Utes can successfully restock their depleted secondary. All five starters from 2019 must be replaced.

“We still have a long way to go, but we build every day. My confidence in my team is very high,” Broughton said. “I see the potential that we have. We just have to do the little things better and when that comes along we will be great.” 

Broughton, who saw limited action on defense (eight tackles overall) as a freshman, acknowledged it was beneficial to watch stars in the secondary like Jaylon Johnson, Julian Blackmon and others last season.

“I was able to take from their technique and take from what they were able to tell me and use that with my own technique,” he said. “It took a long time for me to come together, but I am ready to go now.”

The starters from last season, Broughton explained, helped him every day.

“I was able to see how they operate and how they became that dog,” he said. “And then, I was able to do it myself.”

Broughton topped the pre-camp depth chart at right cornerback. Junior Bronson Boyd held the No. 1 spot on the left side with sophomore Malone Mataele leading the way at nickel back. The starting safety positions were held by senior Vonte Davis and junior R.J. Hubert.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: The Pac-12 released kickoff and television for Utah’s two Friday night games this season. Be prepared to stay up late for the first one. The Nov. 13 game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl will start at 8:30 p.m. (MT) and be broadcast on FS1. The Utes will also play on FS1 when they visit Colorado on Dec. 11. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Utah’s other games, including the Nov. 7 opener against Arizona, will have kickoff times and broadcast information available six or 12 days in advance. All Pac-12 games the first six weeks of the conference-only season will be televised nationally on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox or FS1. 

REPPING THE U.: Junior receiver Britain Covey will represent Utah on the Pac-12 South Division Student-Athlete Media Day Webinar on Wednesday afternoon. The other participants include quarterback Jayden Daniels (Arizona State), quarterback Grant Gunnell (Arizona), safety Talanoa Hufanga (USC), offensive tackle William Sherman (Colorado) and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA).

LINEBACKER LEADER: As one of just two returning starters on the Utah defense, junior Devin Lloyd is taking on more of a leadership role this season. He was recently chosen to be a team captain.

“He does an extraordinary job. All of the players on the team trust and respect him and he has the results to back it up,” said Utah linebackers coach Colton Swan. “He has done a great job in a leadership role as far as bringing guys along. Nobody works harder than Devin. He spends an extraordinary amount of time working on the field and off the field.”

Lloyd led the Utes with 91 tackles last season.