Spring Position Battles- Wide Receivers

The wide receivers and tight ends are up next with almost everyone coming back

Wide Receivers (3 spots)
Candidates: Devonte Christopher, Reggie Dunn, Luke Matthews, Anthony Denham, Dres Anderson, Kenneth Scott, Charles Henderson, Quinton Pedroza, Griff McNabb, Sean Fitzgerald, Travis Still
Favorites: Christopher, Dunn , Matthews, Denham, Anderson
Dark Horses: Scott, Pedroza
Winners: Christopher, Matthews, Denham

Utah returns all of their major contributors from last season. DeVonte Christopher led the Utes in receiving with 663 yards in 11 games (60.3 per game) and 5 touchdowns. True Freshman Dres Anderson showed flashes of being a solid second option, with the ability to test defenses vertically. Luke Matthews was a team captain last season, and one of the toughest players on the team. Reggie Dunn is a multi-purpose speedster who will contribute in many ways. Dunn was Utah's 2nd leading rusher last season, averaging 11.5 yards per carry. A dark horse to break the starting lineup is athletic specimen Kenneth Scott, who overcame early injuries to become a late contributor. Also joining the Utes is Anthony Denham, who was expected to start at WR last season before a hamstring injury kept him out of fall camp, and ultimately led to a redshirt season. Denham (6'4, 231) is a physical monster with all the tools to be an NFL receiver.

DeVonte Christopher has one of the starting spots locked up, but the other two spots are completely wide open. No player on the team is as respected as Luke Matthews, who rates out highly with his intangibles, while Anthony Denham may possess the most athletic ability of any of the Ute wide receivers. Matthews and Denham will likely have the inside edge to a starting positions this spring. If Brian Johnson decides the WR group needs more speed, Reggie Dunn or Dres Anderson might break the starting unit, though it will be tough to unseat the gritty Matthews or promising Denham. Keep an eye on Kenneth Scott who really came on strong toward the end of last season. Scott does a little bit of everything, but is at his best down the field. If Scott continues his rate of improvement, he has a chance to earn the starting job come fall.

Tight End
Candidates: Dallin Rogers, Jake Murphy, Kendrick Moeai, Westlee Tonga, David Rolf
Favorites: Dallin Rogers, Jake Murphy
Dark Horse: David Rolf
Winner: Dallin Rogers (if healthy), otherwise Jake Murphy

Last season, Norm Chow brought a new offensive philosophy to the Utes, a philosophy that included a variety of tight ends and fullbacks sets. With Brian Johnson taking over the offense, Ute fans should expect to see more of a traditional fullback this spring. If Dallin Rogers is healthy, he's the best combination of a pass catcher and blocker. However, Rogers status at this point is up in the air. If he's not 100% healthy, there's a very talented young TE waiting behind him in Jake Murphy. After returning from an LDS mission, the original BYU signee joined the Utes a little rusty, but progressed rapidly. With a full offseason to develop, Murphy's got a good chance to take over the starting role. Kendrick Moeai is a guy with a lot of experience, and who the coaches have a lot of hope for. Injuries have limited opportunities for Moeai however. Westlee Tonga is another talented TE with potential, though his opportunities will be limited due to other talented TEs ahead of him. The dark horse for this group is David Rolf. Rolf made the switch from DE to TE midway through last season after injuries depleted the Utes' depth. Most people expect Rolf to make the switch back to DE, where he can contribute immediately. Rolf is athletically gifted and could become a force wherever he ends up.

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