Thoughts From Camp Kyle: Week One


(Courtesy Utah Athletics)

By Cole Bagley, Sports Editor


After nearly two years, and the most interesting season the sports world has ever seen, a full schedule of Utah Football is on the horizon. But before the first kickoff in September, the program will go through several weeks of fall camp in order to prepare for the highly anticipated 2021 season. Here are the top storylines from Week One of Camp Kyle.

Kyle Whittingham Pleased After Day One

In his opening fall camp interview, head coach Kyle Whittingham was very pleased with the efforts he had seen after day one of camp. He also mentioned the importance of having so many players back from injury, including Cameron Rising, who will compete with Charlie Brewer for the starting quarterback position.

“We have a lot of guys from injury that appear to be fully back and healthy, Cam Rising being one of those guys,” Whittingham said. “’Lot of positive things. We’ve got a lot of work to do and 24 practices to get it done in — we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

Whittingham then assessed Rising’s overall status and how he’s feeling.

“100% looked great today — looked like his old self. I detected no lack of arm strength, he took every rep he was supposed to take and said he felt great,” Whittingham said.

The Running Back Room is Very Close

Similar to last year, Whittingham said he will have a committee-style backfield until a clear frontrunner emerges. With that being said, the room has become very close and are motivating each other throughout the competition. 

After the first fall practice, Freshman Micah Bernard commented on the relationships between all the backs. 

“We are very close. We got really close over the summer outside of football so right now we are doing pretty well and looking to make it stronger,” Bernard said.

Notably, the room now consists of freshman Bernard, junior T.J. Pledger and sophomores Chris Curry and Tavion Thomas. While each presents a very unique skillset, they are all united in the goal of making each other stronger and, according to Curry, maintaining a brotherhood within the room is very important.

“It’s exciting, you know. Me and Tavion have the power while Micah and T.J. have the speed, but we influence each other’s game. He might make a cut, I might make a cut, we all might try the same cut next practice but we are always motivating each other. That’s always our goal, to be a brotherhood,” Curry said.

Devin Lloyd and Nephi Sewell Have Been Working Hard 

After the pleasant surprise of Devin Lloyd’s return announcement, the linebacker room is loaded and will be led by both Lloyd and Nephi Sewell. After both upperclassmen tore it up in 2020, the two have been busy during the off-season, improving their games and preparing to be even better in 2021.

Lloyd mentioned that he’s been working on a little bit of everything during the off-season and then shared his focus for fall camp.

“Striking, separating, being more violent,” Lloyd said. “I’m looking to engage blockers a lot more instead of trying to just use my athleticism to run around them. Just being more physically dominant, imposing dominance, also, taking while I’m tackling — I call it taking, but essentially running full speed instead of stopping. Just running full speed through the tackle.”

Sewell also shared what the focal point of fall camp will be for him.

“I’ve been working on my striking, you know, being more stout in the run game,” he said. “I did alright last year, obviously I can see a lot of improvement and just fine-tune my zone coverage skills and my man-to-man — you can never stop improving in that aspect of the game. But right now my main focus is being more stout in the run game and shedding off the blocker.”

Overall, everything seems to be going smoothly after a full week of Camp Kyle. But with four weeks before the season starts, there’s still plenty of work to be done before the first kickoff at Rice-Eccles on Sept. 2 against Weber State.


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