Rhett Wilkinson

Why Utah’s OL Talent Will Blossom In 2013

Created on Aug. 02, 2013 5:39 AM EST

Key Reserves: Albers, Asiata And Lozano

Finn’s model to have a solid two-deep at each line position (10 players) may come up short, but perhaps he’ll have eight ready to do FBS battles come the Aug. 29 season opener against Utah State.

Albers pushed Aiono in the spring. Being 6-foot-7 helps. That also means he could gain more weight beyond his current 310 pounds. Whittingham said that he demonstrated solid conditioning throughout spring ball after transferring from Orange Coast College (Calif.), where he was a second-team all-conference offensive tackle for Orange Coast College in 2012. As a senior at Costa Mesa High (Calif.), he was the 2010 Orange Coast League Lineman of the Year. He has three years to play two.

Asiata (6-foot-4, 315) is also battling with Albers for Aiono’s position, a race that is more uncertain. Asiata participated in spring ball after returning from an LDS mission. That was preceded by a 2011 redshirt season.

At Spanish Fork High (Utah), Asiata was a captain and first-team all-state selection as a junior and senior. He's also cousin to former Utah running back Matt Asiata, now with the Minnesota Vikings.

After Asiata and Albers, Lozano probably has the best shot, though the 6-foot-6, 380 pound project needs to drop weight. That hasn’t been an easy task. The East L.A. College transfer, who redshirted in 2012, was a unanimous first-team All-Mountain Conference selection in 2011. He helped the Huskies to their best season in 37 years in 2011, when they won the Mountain Conference and the American Bowl.

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