Day 9 at Utah Fall Camp was a good day according to Head Coach Kyle Whittingham. There was a real sense of anticipation for what will be coming on Saturday morning, Utah’s first scrimmage of Fall Camp. Whittingham said that both sides of the ball had their moments on Friday. Whitt says he’s looking forward to Saturday’s scrimmage because it will allow him to see real offensive execution and how the defense tackles.
Of note, BYU Transfer Linebacker Frances Bernard showed up at practice on Friday morning in street clothes. Both Kyle Whittingham and Justin Ena said there is nothing new to report on Bernard’s status.
Here’s Kyle Whittingham with the media following Day 9 on Friday morning.
Play of the Day
Demari Simpkins, who’s had an outstanding fall camp, made the play of the day on Friday morning. Simpkins hauled in a 15 yard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone with Safety Corrion Ballard draped all over him. The throw from Huntley was spectacular and well place, but the Simpkins made the catch, took the hit and stayed in bounds. Here’s the video clip courtesy of Utezone.com and Utezone Radio’s Insider Steve Bartle…Watch the toe tap at the end…
Here's that Demari Simpkins catch. Unbelievable play, that a receiver who believes is the best receiver in the country would make. pic.twitter.com/g2Q7LrOsrk
— Steve Bartle (@SBartle247) August 10, 2018
It was the best play of the day and one of the best of fall camp from a guy that has clearly worked on his game. Simpkins and Siaosi Mariner have been consistently the two best playmakers in fall camp along with their QB Tyler Huntley. Kyle Whittingham today called Simpkins a “Coaches Dream”. His work ethic combined with his connection with Huntley seem to point towards big things coming this season for the junior from south Florida.
The “Other J” at Corner for the Utes
Much of the attention in the Utah Secondary late last season and early in Camp this fall has centered on junior Julian Blackmon, who was named 2nd Team All Pac 12 last year. That attention is well deserved because he’s had a great start to this year. On Friday morning after Day 9, Head Coach Kyle Whittingham praised the play of Utah’s “Other” outstanding corner, Jaylon Johnson. Whittingham pointed out that Johnson played hurt all of last season with an injury that lingered from High School. Despite the injury Johnson still played in 12 games, breaking up 6 passes and picking off a pass. Whittingham says that Johnson is fully healthy after off-season surgery and is playing much more confidently this fall.
Troy Taylor and the Offense
The Utah OC had a few nuggets today regarding his Tight Ends Group, Demari Simpkins, Tyler Huntley’s Improvement and What he wants out of the scrimmage…Here’s Taylor following Friday Morning’s practice…
Day 9/Friday Standouts at Camp Kyle
1. Damari Simpkins-As stated and shown above, Simpkins was spectacular on Friday. He’s been the picture of consistency all fall long and one of the leaders on the football team.
2. Tyler Huntley-Another Day and more praise for the Utah QB from his OC and his teammates. Huntley continues to thrive in the 2nd year of the Taylor Offense and leads both vocally and by example.
3. Julian Blackmon-I asked former Utah LB Stevenson Sylvester, who was at practice, who impressed him the most on either side of the football on Friday morning. His answer: Julian Blackmon. No real surprise as Blackmon has been consistently the best defensive player over the first 9 days.