Utah depth chart moves

April, 2, 2013
4/02/13
1:00
PM ET
Some teams want to hide their true depth charts. Some teams want to act like they are meaningless. But reporters and fans love depth charts.

One fun thing Utah does is update its depth chart frequently during spring and preseason practices. That's fun because it gives reporters sorts of things to write about and fans sorts of things to discuss, even if changes this week end up meaning little for the ultimate starting 24.

The Utes' latest depth chart reveals that only five starting spots are the same as the Nov. 19 -- last -- 2012 depth chart: QB Travis Wilson, receivers Kenneth Scott and Dres Anderson, TE Jake Murphy and safety Eric Rowe.

Some of this is due to injuries. Guys such as safety/LB Brian Blechen and defensive end/LB Trevor Reilly aren't presently listed but surely will be starting in the fall.

[+] EnlargeKelvin York
Scott Olmos/USA TODAY SportsKelvin York is likely to be the starting tailback for Utah when the 2013 season kicks off.
Still, it's interesting.

Start on the offensive line. While two starters return -- Jeremiah Poutasi and Vyncent Jones -- both are in different spots. Poutasi, a sophomore with good upside, has moved from right to left tackle, while Jones moves to center from left guard. Jeremiah Tofaeono, a senior, is back at left guard, where he started six games a year ago before getting hurt. On the right side, Junior Salt is the guard and Siaosi Alono is the tackle. Neither has started a college game.

At backup QB behind sophomore Travis Wilson, sophomore Adam Schultz and freshman Brandon Cox have an "Or" between them. Utes fans probably know as well as anybody how often one QB starts every game, so that's a key battle.

Kelvin York is the odds-on favorite to start at tailback, though he's battling a toe injury. There's an "Or" between his backups, junior Lucky Radley and sophomore James Poole. Another critical competition.

And, yes, it was extremely difficult not to go all Atticus Finch/Joe Btfsplk on Lucky Radley's name.

The Utes, by the way, no longer list an H-back with Dennis Erickson running the offense.

On defense, the D-line is completely different from 2012, while the LBs will mostly be the same, even if guys switch positions. With Reilly and Nate Orchard out, senior Thretton Palamo and redshirt freshman Hunter Dimick are the starting ends. Tenny Palepoi and LT Tuipulotu "Or" Viliseni Fauonuku are the No. 1 tackles.

Daniel Nielson, a 325-pound sophomore, has moved from the offensive line to DT. He's presently third behind Tuipulotu and Fauonuku.

V.J. Fehoko is the middle linebacker, with Jared Norris at "stud" LB and Jacoby Hale at rover LB. Reilly and Blechen also could see action at linebacker. Jason Whittingham, a part-time starter at LB last fall, is out with an injury but the plan is to move him to defensive end in the fall.

The cornerbacks will be new in 2013 after the departures of Reggie Topps, Ryan Lacy and Moe Lee. Freshman Justin Thomas and senior Keith McGill are first team at the corners, while there's an "Or" at nickel back between Joseph Smith and Michael Walker. Tyron Morris-Edwards, a former walk-on, is ahead of veteran Quade Chappuis at strong safety, where Blechen is the likely starter.

Utah is replacing both specialists. Sophomore Tom Hackett is No. 1 at punter, while there's an "Or" between Jamie Sutcliffe and Andy Phillips at kicker.

The Utes will have an open scrimmage on Friday from 4-6 p.m. MT at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Ted Miller | email

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