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Utes have depth at RB, O-line

Published August 2, 2013 7:58 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Finishing up our look at the offense today with the offensive line and running backs. First for the backs, where Kelvin York is penciled in to assume the starting role now that John White has moved on. White earned a reputation as a durable back who got stronger as the games wore on. Can York do the same? Judging from spring ball, his durability could be a concern since he sat out several practices with a lingering foot injury. When he did practice Utah coach Kyle Whittingham had strong compliments for the 5-11, 220-pound back. His absence wasn't all bad though as backups James Poole, Lucky Radley and Karl Williams all had strong days and will battle for playing time. Poole has good hands and fits well with the tweaks Dennis Erickson has made in the offense while Williams is a bruiser of a back. JC transfer Devontae Booker hasn't joined the Utes but with the depth the Utes have at running back, it's likely the Utes could redshirt him if and when he does step on campus. As for the offensive line, the Utes feel it is the most improved area of the team. Left guard Jeremiah Tofaeono and center Vyncent Jones are the only seniors among the starters, but Whittingham believes the Utes have more depth than they have in recent years. Keep an eye on left tackle Jeremiah Poutasi, who started as a freshman last year and already is being billed as Utah's next great lineman. Both Toefaeono and guard Junior Salt had their 2012 seasons cut short but are healthy now. Salt was signed as a defensive lineman, but depth there and injuries to the offensive line prompted the Utes to move him to the offensive line as he was rehabbing last year. The coaches feel the offensive line is a more natural position and expect him to have a big year. - Lya Wodraska