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Camp Kyle 2020: Sunny Day 11

Oct 21, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY – As the weather is set to change in the Salt Lake Valley this week, the Utah football program got in another solid practice in the warm sunshine today at the Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Facility.

The Utes are 18 days from kickoff with each practice getting a new level of excitement and intensity as the days of fall camp continue to tick away.
 

This week at practice, several newcomers earned their decals. The helmet decal is given to a player who does something extraordinary in practice that sets them apart.

On Tuesday, Jaren Kump, Clark Phillips III, Dalton Kincaid, Nate Ritchie and Kamo'i Latu all earned their decals while Sione Fotu received his today.
 

Highlights from Today's Offense vs. Defense:

  • Money Parks had a diving catch over the middle for a first down.
  • Solomon Enis picked up a large reception under double coverage.
  • All four RBs (Devin Brumfield, Jordan Wilmore, Micah Bernard, Ty Jordan) had solid catches out of the backfield.
  • Devaughn Vele had a deep catch down the middle for a first down.
  • Samson Nacua went up and caught a tough pass with three defenders around him for a 20+ yard touchdown.
  • Tanoa Togiai had a big time bat-down on a pass at the line of scrimmage.

U Voices: Kyle Whittingham, Guy Holliday, Jordan Wilmore, Nick Ford, Micah Bernard

Kyle Whittingham | Head Coach

On if he feels like they have a red X on their back because they've won the South title two years in a row…
"We have won it back-to-back years, but this year we are not picked to win it, so I'm not sure if we have the target on our back. But our goal is to try and do it again and like I've said time and again, win that Pac-12 Championship game, which we've been unable to do these last couple of years. The Pac-12 South is going to be competitive. USC has been chosen No. 1 to win it, so we will see what happens. We have a lot of good, young talent in the program and we are trying to get them ready as fast as we can."

On what will be different about the second scrimmage coming up and what he wants to accomplish…
"We will have fewer guys get reps where every single guy got reps in the first scrimmage. Everyone that was healthy and able to do so got the opportunity to show what they can do. The scrimmage format will be similar this week with a lot of situational work, but there won't be an opportunity for every guy to get reps. We will begin to scale it down and focus on the guys that will be on the projected travel squad, which hasn't been completely solidified because there are some battles going on. And we need it too. After watching the scrimmage in its entirety there were a lot of good things, but it was painfully obvious we have a lot of work to do with not a lot of time to get it done. Yesterday we had some good live work as well in practice, which was a step forward for us."

On who has been taking second-team reps in the punt return game…
"That has been a combination of several people including Ty Jordan, Samson Nacua, Money Parks and Clark Phillips III, so we have four or five guys that have been working back there. You can never have too many returners. We try to develop a whole stable of returners so we don't get caught shorthanded there. Right now though, that decision has not been made on who is going to be the guys who are battling for the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, so we will see how that shakes out."

On how his program is embracing the ruling that all athletic activities will stop on Nov. 3 to allow student-athletes to vote…
"We are certainly encouraging every single one of them to vote, we won't be doing anything on that day and it is going to be a day off for them. It is obviously very important and we want our guys to be active and have their voice make an impact. We've already done all of the registration stuff and so we should be ready to roll, and hopefully they take advantage of it. We aren't going to put them in our cars and drive them to the polls, but they are encouraged to vote and most of them will."

Guy Holliday | Wide Receivers Coach

On how Britain Covey has looked throughout camp…
"I would say he probably looks better than he did coming back from his mission. I think he is probably back to 100-percent and he plays to where he is."

On Bryan Thompson and how he has tried to transform his body…
"A lot of people look at body weight, but I am not a big believer in body weight, I'm a believer in body fat because that interprets in particular the lateral movements for wide receivers. So, he is focused more on trimming his body fat down and he has done a great job with it. I think he should have a great season because of it."

On what a 100-percent Britain Covey brings to the offense…
"I think it brings a dynamic player after the catch, somebody that can really make the first player miss. He gives you a lot of versatility in terms of you can hand him the ball, you can throw him the ball, so what it does is it gives you a lot of options."

On breaking in a new quarterback for the receivers in a pandemic…
"The one things we've been able to do consistently is go out there and throw and catch, so I think that has been a plus. If you look at other programs around the country, the offense is probably a little bit ahead of the defense right now, which is not what you normally see. So, I don't care who the quarterback is, our job is to catch the ball and to me it ends right there."

Jordan Wilmore | SO | Running Back

On heading into his second year with the program and the group having to fill the void of Zack Moss…
"Last year we knew who the guy was, but this year we are actually competing for each spot on the team. It is fun and challenging."

On if it was frustrating having to sit back and not get as many reps last year or if he learned a lot during that time…
"It was frustrating for sure because coming from high school and being talked about and then coming here and just waiting, but it was a good thing. I probably wouldn't have grown up as fast as I did, so I actually appreciate it now."

On the challenges he faced last year playing as a true freshman and how his game has progressed this year…
"Being a freshman is all about how fast you can learn and retain the information, so some things last year I knew and some things I didn't know, so I wasn't ready. This year, I know more. I lifted more weights, I focused more on my legs with like single-leg workouts, just trying to get faster and stronger for the season."

On having the younger guys there to push him…
"It is a good thing because it pushes all of us to be great and just ball-out for the whole season."

Nick Ford | JR | Offensive Lineman

On what he feels his role as a leader has done to help the football team this year…
"I've just been helping out in any way that is possible, whether it being on or off the field, all the way from being just the leadership inside the offensive line room or offering myself to anybody that is on the team. Even just to my brothers around the Pac-12 to make sure that they come out healthy from the season and we play with the least risk."

On the depth at offensive line…
"The offensive line has a lot of depth to it. Everyone is capable of playing. You look at guys like Jaren Kump who just came in and he is an excellent player and is very strong. Same thing with Bamidele Olaseni and Sataoa Laumea, and then you have familiar faces with me, Braeden Daniels, Orlando Umana, Simi Moala, so it is just really exciting."

On if he likes playing tackle or guard better…
"I like playing on the field, I like hitting people, so it doesn't matter where I am at. I am quick enough to be able to go outside and I'm strong enough to be able to go inside, so wherever they want to put me, I feel bad for the other guy."

On if there are any challenges playing left tackle and replacing Darrin Paulo…
"He left a big void, but at the same time I'm able to replace that. This program reloads we don't restock. Darrin was just one bullet in the chamber ahead of me, so next thing you know I'm up. I don't really see it as pressure, it is just me playing out there. If you start seeing it as pressure and you start getting in your head, it is going to wind up being bad for you. It really doesn't bother me, I'm just trying to play football. It doesn't matter that it is the blindside. It is just a psychological game, but I also know my psychological and physical game is on par."

Micah Bernard | R-FR | Running Back

On the running back competition…
"Not having Zack Moss there, he really encouraged us to do a lot last year, so now we are trying to fill his shoes this year. Right now it is really close, but we are all working and waiting till game day to see what happens."

On describing his style of play…
"I think I bring a lot of speed, decision making and versatility to the game. I'm also trying to become more physical this year, so I'm adding that to my game and we should see what happens."

On the challenges of redshirting and not having game experience…
"I think it actually helped me to redshirt because I came in at 17 years old. I feel like redshirting gave me an extra year to understand the offense, to become bigger and more physical. Just getting to watch guys like Devin and Zack, and learn from them, it has helped me tremendously."

On how the coaches are challenging the group that are all competing for the starting spot…
"They just encourage us to keep working every day that we go out there. It is a competition, but at the same time, we are all trying to help each other. We are helping each other win games and we are helping each other win games, so no matter which way it goes or which way we do it, we just got to win."