Utes Insider – Student-athlete roundtable on the return to college sports
It has been a challenging four and a half months for Ute athletes since the Pac-12 Conference cancelled competition for the remainder of the spring due to the coronavirus. Within days of the league's announcement on March 12, the University of Utah announced that it was suspending all athletic activities and the campus was closed to students. A return to normalcy began on June 15 when a portion of Utah's athletes were allowed to come back for voluntary off-season workouts.
During this edition of Utes Insider presented by Pepsi, Dani Drews from volleyball, Haley Farrar from soccer and Nick Ford from football join host Mike Lageschulte to share how their lives have been impacted mentally, physically and socially by the coronavirus pandemic. The trio of student-athletes look back on what they have experienced in recent months by learning online, finding creative ways to stay in shape, being away from their teammates and friends, and spending more time at home with their families. They also look ahead at what fall athletics competition might look like after the Pac-12 Conference announced on July 10 that it was shifting to conference games only, with a start date that was still undetermined when the show was recorded on July 20.
Drews, a senior outside hitter from Sandy, Utah, became the second player in Utah volleyball history to be named an AVCA First Team All-American in 2019. She also earned AVCA South Pacific Region Player of the Year and All-Pac-12 First Team honors as she led the Utes to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second time in three years.
As she enters her final year at Utah, Drews talks about the how the volleyball team is approaching a fall season that is undefined. (sound bite)
Farrar, a junior midfielder from Salt Lake City, helped the Ute soccer team make the NCAA Tournament last season. She was a Pac-12 All-Academic selection, played in seven games and made two starts in 2019.
Farrar has been working out with the soccer team during the summer at Ute Field. While she has enjoyed being back, she has also seen this spring and summer as an opportunity for growth. (sound bite)
Ford is slated to start at left tackle for the Ute football this season. The junior from San Pedro, Calif., earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 recognition in 2019 as the Utes won the Pac-12 South Division title for the second consecutive year and played in the Alamo Bowl.
Ford has been taking part in voluntary workouts at the Eccles Football Center since June 15. The mandatory phase began on July 20, which allowed players to interact with the coaches. Ford has been impressed by the precautions taken by the Utah athletics staff to ensure the workout facilities are safe. (sound bite)
The podcast can be heard on iTunes and YouTube. All Utah Athletics podcasts will be archived here.