Notes from day 3 of Utah football preseason camp.
The University of Utah football team opened up its first full week of preseason camp Monday with day three of Camp Kyle.
“We’ve made progress each day,” said Utah offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Troy Taylor. “[I’m] very, very happy with the effort, intensity and focus. We’re getting better.”
Chase Hansen Out Indefinitely
It was announced via a Utah athletics press release Monday morning that strong safety Chase Hansen “is unavailable to practice until further notice.”
Utah football head coach Kyle Whittingham said Hansen will hopefully be ready by the start of the season, but he will need to rehab for a while. Whittingham also noted that Hansen was not hurt in practice, but rather was dealing with a “lingering thing.”
“He’s a tough kid,” Whittingham said. “He’s proven to be a fast healer in the past and there is nobody who’ll work harder in the rehab than he will.”
With Hansen out, defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley said the key to moving forward without their 6-foot-3 junior is to do what they have always done in this type of situation – watch what other Utes will step up.
“Right now it’s Marquise Blair, Philip Afia,” Scalley said. “Afia looks as good as I’ve ever seen him. We’re really excited for his progression. [Corrion] Ballard, Blair. Everyone asks a year after you lose guys ‘how you going to replace him?’ Well, with the guys that we’ve got.”
Hansen started in all 13 games his sophomore season where he led the team with 90 tackles, with 7.5 for loss, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
Utah wide receivers coach Guy Holliday believes the team is much further ahead right now than they were at any point last season in camp. From the true freshman receivers that Holliday is looking forward to seeing how they perform when the pads go on to the quarterback battle, the offensive seems to be making strides.
“The best players going to play,” Holliday said. “If it’s a true freshman, so be it.”
Whittingham also shared his thoughts on the receiver group and said it has a “whole new look” and that the “position group has undergone a transformation.” So much so that he believes it could be compared to the ’08 group because of the talent and depth.
“It’s that good,” Whittingham said. “Or in the big picture and in the long run, maybe better.”