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Whittingham To Run Unorthodox Utes Offense

By Rhett Wilkinson




Jeremiah Poutasi, No. 73, blocks against Southern California during a 38-28 Trojans' win in 2012 at Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium. Poutasi will be asked to anchor the offensive line this season. George Frey/Getty Images.
Jeremiah Poutasi, No. 73, blocks against Southern California during a 38-28 Trojans' win in 2012 at Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium. Poutasi will be asked to anchor the offensive line this season. George Frey/Getty Images.

Jeremiah Poutasi

The Utes should consider themselves fortunate to have this guy.

The sophomore is 6-foot-5, 345-pounds, but is "light on his feet," Whittingham says. 

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Lya Wodraska has written the Las Vegas product may be Utah's next great lineman. ESPN made him a first-team all-state selection. Poutasi was a four-star recruit and 10th-rated offensive guard by Rivals.com. He was also named the top offensive lineman in the 2012 Offense-Defense All-America Game in Dallas.

This season may begin a trajectory for Poutasi similar to the one his cousin Paul Fanaika found en route to the Seattle Seahawks franchise. That’s not bad, especially since he doesn’t turn 19 until Aug. 7.

Vyncent Jones

According to the Deseret News’ Dirk Facer, the senior is slated to be the Utes’ next starting center, filling a position held by Tevita Stevens the last two seasons.

Whittingham said the 6-foot-3, 305-pound senior from Jordan High School (Utah) is a versatile player who can play all five spots on the offensive line. Jones is best suited for the interior, however.

Starting quarterback Travis Wilson worked out with Jones in the offseason. Wilson has gone so far as to say that Jones is the “smartest guy” among the offensive group.

Jones has acknowledged that communication and physicality were weaknesses for the unit early in his career. Now the group enters a second cohesive year together with six returning starters on offense. (Utah returned nine starters last year.)

“In years past, it seemed the center would be making calls and the players would be focused on other plays,” he says. “Now, everybody seems to have a good grasp on the plays.”