Coming into 2018 spring ball, one of the biggest questions surrounding the Utes was their receivers group. Utah is trying to replace Darren Carrington and Raelon Singleton, and how they can find weapons to replicate the 1,500 combined yards and 10 touchdowns that they produced last season. So far into spring practices, the Utes may have found their answer.
Utah will bring back from 2017 Siaosi Mariner, who will look to become Utah’s number one receiver in 2018. Mariner, who changed his last name from Wilson, was third in receiving yards for the Utes in 2017. Not only does he bring experience, but the junior also adds a 6″2 frame that will present difficulties for corners in the fall.
Other returning impact players from 2017 that will no doubt make a difference this upcoming season will be Demari Simpkins, Jameson Field and Samson Nacua. Simpkins and Nacua were both tied for third on the team for receptions last fall, while Field was talked about by coach Kyle Whittingham after Monday’s practice, calling him a leader throughout the winter.
One name that is constantly being brought up around the program however, is Bronson Boyd. Boyd, redshirted in the fall of 2017, and hasn’t taken the field in nearly two years.
“The first spring practice I felt like I could make an impact right away,” Boyd told Gunther and Ben after Monday’s practice.
Boyd originally signed with Texas Tech out of high school in Arlington, Texas, before making the switch to Utah. “The family program, a place where the coaches and players get along, where the players don’t care about themselves, they care about the team,” Boyd said regarding his decision to come to the Utes.
Along with his admirable size, Boyd will also bring lighting speed for a receiver, something that has already been noticed during spring ball. Bronson says his 40-time is somewhere around the 4.4 4.5 area.
When asked what one player is making an impact during spring ball, offense or defense, Boyd was quick to respond. “Right now its Tyler Huntley, he’s making plays.” Huntley is returning for his second year of being the starting quarterback after an impressive 2017 campaign, though it was filled with injuries.
You can catch the entire interview Boyd had with Gunther and Ben:
Adding to the excitement that Boyd and other receivers will bring for Utah in the fall, a familiar name to the program is back. Britain Covery has returned from his LDS mission, to the absolute elation of Utes fans.
Covey will not participate in spring ball, and instead prepare for fall by getting back into football shape. The Provo native hasn’t played since 2015, but during that season Covey racked up over 500 yards receiving for the Utes.
Newcomer Solomon Enis, one of the biggest recruiting commits for the Utes on national signing day, could also make an immediate impact. Enis collected over 2,300 yards and more than 30 touchdowns in three seasons playing at Phoenix-area North Canyon High School.
The receivers will need to make a step up for the Utes, as Utah tries to improve their offense in 2018. Utah ranked 9th in scoring offense in the PAC-12, eighth in total offense, and seventh in passing offense.