Thoughts From Camp Kyle: Week Two


(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 two of Camp Kyle. Check out part one here.

Utah Has Two Elite Quarterbacks, But No Frontrunner Has Emerged

As Utah fans continue to anxiously await the announcement of a starting quarterback, they may have to wait a bit longer as there has yet to be any separation. In Monday’s media availability, head coach Kyle Whittingham noted, that while they are both performing at a high level, it may be some time before either illustrates any distance from the other.

“They’re both performing very well,” Whittingham said. “As we talked about last week it’s not going to be until mid to later this week before we start really — well, we may not even start seeing some separation. They may not have enough body of work to really get some good evaluation. But to this point they are clearly the two guys that are in the race. They’re the only two guys that are in the race, at this point and time, and they are both handling their business and doing a good job.”

Additionally, after the initial scrimmage, veteran wide receiver Britain Covey mentioned that he is grateful that he doesn’t have to make the decision since both guys are playing so well and it appears to be a tight race. However, he also noted with confidence that this is a race to find which quarterback will help the team succeed at a higher level, not some desperate attempt to throw somebody under center.

“Gosh, I am glad I don’t have to make the decision because they are both playing so well. I’ve said this many times before but it’s just wonderful knowing that it’s not a competition where we are searching for a quarterback, y’know, you are just desperate to find one. But it’s one where you’ve got two great guys, and they are both performing at a high level so, y’know, we are going to have one of the best backup quarterbacks in the country, that’s all I know. I don’t know who the guy is going to be yet but I know we are going to have two great options,” Covey said. 

JUCCO Transfer Tavion Thomas is Coming Along Nicely

After the coaching staff acquired two solid running backs from the transfer portal in Chris Curry and T.J. Pledger shortly after the 2020 season, they also recently added Independence Community College transfer Tavion Thomas.

Standing six-foot-two and 231 pounds, Thomas presents the most size amongst any of the running backs competing for the starting position. Additionally, according to Whittingham, Thomas has quickly acclimated to the offensive scheme and is developing nicely.

“Very good, very good. He’s still a little out of shape — he was 240 the last time we talked, he’s about 231 right now, 230-ish and so he’s getting to where he needs to be. He’s still about five pounds overweight or so but his stamina is increasing, his knowledge of the scheme is increasing, and in his downtime he’s taken time to watch film and study the playbook so he’s coming along just fine,” Whittingham said.

As the competition continues, the coaching staff will have to pay close attention as they’ll have to decide between Thomas, Curry, Pledger and Micah Bernard. However, it’s very possible that we could see a committee style strategy through the first few games, similar to what we saw last year until a true frontrunner emerges.

The Offense Outplayed the Defense In the First Scrimmage

What may come as a surprise due to the chemistry and leadership within Utah’s defense, according to multiple sources, the offense outplayed the defense in the first fall scrimmage. 

As one of those sources, Covey attributed the offensive success to the veteran leadership within the offense, giving most of the credit to quarterbacks Charlie Brewer and Cameron Rising.

“A lot of veteran leadership, I felt like. At least from the offensive side of things,” Covey said. “I haven’t been a part of many scrimmages where the offense gets the better side of the defense, part of the reason is the defense has been so great in the past. But I really feel like the fact that we have so many veterans on offense helped us a lot today, to come in, first live situation, and just be clean, be efficient, and be able to run from different sets, from empty sets to three tight ends. And that kind of veteran leadership, I felt like was shown by both Cam, Charlie and the rest of the guys.”

Additionally, veteran linebacker and team captain Devin Lloyd also credited the offense with outplaying the defense, mentioning that they were ready to go and executed at a high level.

“Overall, they did some very good things,” Lloyd said. “It started with coach Ludwig; he did a great job calling the plays, getting guys in the right positions to succeed, and then they just executed very well. We held some of the ones out but there shouldn’t be that huge of a drop off. The offense just came, they were ready to go — came out firing — and executed at a very high level.”

As the second week of fall camp comes to an end, the team seems to be developing nicely in multiple key areas. However, with the only 19 days left until the first kick-off against Weber State, there will need to be some separation amongst several of the key positions in order for the Utes to be prepared to face the Wildcats on Thursday, Sept. 2.


[email protected]