Utah Football: A Work in Progress


Senior Troy Williams (3) and Sophmore Raelon Singleton (11) at Rice Eccles Stadium Salt Lake City, Utah. Adam Fondren, Daily Utah Chronicle

Raelon Singleton may have already had his best outing as a Ute in his coach’s eyes when he racked up over 100 receiving yards against Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. However, he doesn’t plan on stopping there.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham argued that Singleton performed the way he did after excelling in practice the week prior to that game and it also helped that the Utes were coming off of a bye week at that point in the season. Singleton would finish that game with 116 receiving yards on just four receptions. Three of those catches accounted for three touchdowns, his longest one being a 64-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Troy Williams.

“It was his best game as a Ute without a doubt,” Whittingham said. “In my estimation, it was his best week of practice as a Ute. It’s amazing how that works, when you practice well you tend to play well. It goes hand in hand, and Rae had an outstanding practice, and he showed up in the game.”

But with receivers like Tim Patrick leaving the program after graduation, Singleton knows that his number is going to get called up a lot more in the future — a lot more in Utah’s 2017 season. Singleton still wants to put up high caliber performances now, but he is working his way to making sure that performances like the one against the Sun Devils become more of a standard for him. He is aspiring to accomplish more for this Utah football program.

“I was more focused [that] week, because I knew I had to step up,” Singleton said.

Getting another year with Williams only helps. Since Singleton didn’t have as prominent of a role in the Utes’ 2015 season with Travis Wilson at the helm, they never really got to establish any sort of chemistry. But he has Williams throwing the ball to him for another year and they are both excited to see what they can achieve in the future.

“I think he’s good with all the receivers,” Singleton said. “Whenever he throws up the ball we got to make a play on it.”

Williams’ confidence continues to grow, the coaching staff is positive the receivers and the starting quarterback will always be on the same page.

Hopefully the Utes won’t have the same tendency to dig themselves a hole like they have done on numerous occasions in the 2016 season, but Whittingham knows Williams is able to pull the entire team out of any sort of rut.

“[Williams’] mentality is exceptional,” Whittingham said. “There’s no panic, it’s just, ‘Hey, let’s go to work, let’s get this done.’ That’s who he is.”

But so long as the Utes are trying to have some fun out there on the field, Williams is confident the team will be in good shape.

“It’s a blessing to be here, and people would kill to be in our positions, so we just try to go out there and realize that and count our blessings and have fun,” Williams said. “You don’t want to go out there thinking too much, you just have to go out there and play and let loose.”

Singleton will be heading into his junior season next year for the Utes and although he will most likely have another season to leave his mark on the program (barring any sort of injury or setback) he wants to start to build that foundation as soon as he can, and it starts with being more aggressive.

The wide receiver doesn’t think he has been using his body enough in the red zone to get open, so he will continue to amp up his game. He is thankful for the opportunities he has received so far.

“I think [succeeding on the field is] more of a blessing than anything knowing that I’ve been hurt for a long time and came out this year and started doing better,” Singleton said.

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