Utes get an early start on grid season

first_imgE-mail: [email protected] Less than three months since its Armed Forces Bowl victory over Tulsa, the Utah football team was back at it Tuesday, starting spring drills at Rice-Eccles Stadium.It’s perhaps the earliest start ever for Ute football because of the way the calendar falls this year. The spring break for the semester will be next week, so the Utes will take a week off before continuing.One thing no one could complain about was the weather, clear and 69 degrees.”How about this weather?” said Ute coach Kyle Whittingham after a spirited two-and-a-half hour practice. “I hope it holds up.”Whittingham was frustrated with some of the execution with bad snaps and dropped passes but said, “For the most part it was not a bad day.”With a veteran group on offense with most starters back plus 2005 starting quarterback Brian Johnson, Whittingham said the coaches will be doing “a lot of installation” this spring.Just over 100 players showed up for opening day and most seemed happy to be back on the field after winter conditioning drills.”It feels good to put the pads on again,” said safety Steve Tate. “I can’t believe we’re starting spring ball. It’s exciting.””It was good to get flowing again,” said wide receiver Brent Casteel. “We had a few rocky points, but it doesn’t take long to get back into it.”The Utes will practice Thursday this week, take next week off and resume practicing on March 27 and continue every Tuesday and Thursday. Spring practice will conclude with the annual spring game on April 21. “We’ve got some holes to fill, but we’ve got some good young athletes in the program,” said Whittingham. “Having Brian Johnson back excites me. He’s 100 percent, going full speed with no hesitation.” last_img