Spring Review: Wide Receiver and Tight End

Looking back at the WRs in spring camp as well as what comes next

Devonte Christopher battled a few minor injuries throughout camp, and didn't get a ton of run, but it wasn't needed. Devonte did what Devonte does, and was, and still is, Utah's best receiver.

Luke Matthews continued to be the team player he has been throughout his career, moving around the field to wherever the coaches wanted him, but looks like he's back at his comfort spot at receiver. While Matthews wasn't overly impressive in the spring, his biggest value may be in the leadership he brings and brought throughout camp in setting an example for younger players and spending plenty of time teaching.

Dres Anderson looked bigger and faster this spring and was a nightmare for corners to cover down the field. The added weight will be crucial when fighting for position on jump balls while the speed has to be in the top 5 of all receivers in the Pac 12. Solid progress from his impressive freshman year should extend into the 2012 season.

Reggie Dunn is still around? It seems like he's been here forever. Dunn still isn't much of a receiving threat, and again wasn't in camp, but those end arounds that he's been so effective running in his career were again on display in the spring, keeping the defense on their toes.

Sean Fitzgerald ends up getting lost in the shuffle at times, but was consistent throughout the spring and excelled in the red zone, specifically on quick throws over the middle.

Kenneth Scott may have been the most impressive receiver from beginning to end in camp. He has more physical talent than any other receiver on the team and when his head is in it, the sophomore to be is unstoppable. There were days where he did whatever he wanted. Not a ton of short catches, but the deep ball and red zone throws were coming his way often, and he made the most of those opportunities.

Quinton Pedroza had an up and down spring, but showed that he has the talent to be an upper echelon Pac 12 receiver. While not a ton of balls were thrown his way, Pedroza is an athlete that showed his ability to go up and get a ball, as well as someone that can be a red zone threat.

Griff McNabb continues to get reps despite not having a ton of speed or any size. He's probably the best route runner on the team and catches everything thrown his way, making the junior to be a reliable option. Wasn't dominant by any means in camp, but was consistent on a day to day basis.

Anthony Denham was having a very good spring and was making a push for a starting spot before a hand injury midway through camp forced him into surgery out out for the remainder. He still has great size and skill, but doesn't have the softest hands, and an injury to the hand may end up compounding that long term.

The tight end corps was depleted and Jake Murphy took advantage. He was dominant throughout camp with too much size for the corners or safeties, and too much speed for the linebackers or ends dropping into coverage. Murphy was a huge force in red zone situations, making the linebackers look silly over and over again.

Westlee Tonga started the spring at defensive end, but moved back to tight end to fill in for the injured tight ends and provide more depth. He was solid in his time there, but it's anticipated that he'll move back to defensive end once fall camp rolls around.

Inside The Utes Depth Chart

Wide Receiver:
Devonte Christopher

Sean Fitzgerald

Dres Anderson
Reggie Dunn

Kenneth Scott
Luke Matthews

Tight End
Jake Murphy

Westlee Tonga (by default) What Happens Next:
With only two incoming wide recivers, and both of them freshman, combined with the fact that the 2011 class had only two players redshirt (both because of injury), and we shouldn't see many changes in the fall once everyone is on campus. If Anthony Denham is healthy, he'll make a move on the depth chart, but that's a big if based on his injury history while at Utah. Devonte Christopher is set as a starter, but any of the other spots could open up. Dres Anderson, Reggie Dunn, and Luke Matthews look like the top four receivers in the rotation with Kenneth Scott being left off of the post spring depth chart by the coaches. That looks to be more of a motivation tactic and Scott will get his run. Griff McNabb is a solid second unit option and Sean Fitzgerald will be used in red zone situations a lot. If Denham can live up to the promise he showed when he signed with Utah, the receiver corps could be as deep as any in the conference. Bryan Allen is raw, but has played against top notch competition before in Texas, which may have him more prepared to step in and contribute. Delshawn McClellon has great speed and could be this year's Charles Henderson. The coaches really like Henderson and he'll get plenty of reps and a chance to fight for a starting spot. Pedroza is still fairly raw and a year away from being anything more than a 10 catch guy. After playing as a true freshman, I wouldn't be surprised if he redshirted as a sophomore. Utah has to be happy with where things are at the wide receiver spot coming out of spring, even if they don't have that one All American type pass catcher.

As for the tight ends, as long as everyone gets healthy, they'll have one of the deeper rotations in the conference, with plenty of versatility. Murphy has to have the edge right now, but expect Moeia and Rogers to get their reps as well. Another great situation to be in.

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