09/20/15 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rSr, 5-11, 219 Devontae Booker and Utah's defense and special teams made sure the 21st-ranked Utes didn't miss injured starting quarterback Travis Wilson in their first road game of the season. Booker ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns, and Utah had two scores on special teams and one on defense in a 45-24 victory over Fresno on Saturday night. The Utes (3-0) remained perfect heading into their Pac-12 opener at No. 12 Oregon next weekend. "We got the nonconference sweep," said backup quarterback Kendal Thompson, who made the start ahead while Wilson sat out with a sprained left shoulder. "The main stat is the win-loss column."
Despite the dominance the Utes showed against Fresno State, coach Kyle Whittingham knows they'll need to play a cleaner game to contend against the Ducks. "There was some good, there was some bad, we got sloppy at the end, which was unfortunate," Whittingham said. "So some give and take there." Booker had some extra incentive against a Bulldogs team that initially recruited him out of high school but later pulled its scholarship offer. "It was devastating when they did that," Booker said. "Heartbreaking . I was extremely motivated, knowing I was going to come out here and get a lot of touches. - AP Sports
09/14/15 - (ILB) - Gionni Paul, rSr, 5-10, 231 SEPT 14 PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Utah LB Gionni Paul, a senior linebacker from Winter Haven, Fla., made two key impact fourth-quarter plays for Utah in the 24-14 win over Utah State. Paul recovered a fumble on the Utah 25-yard line, and then made a game-clinching interception at the Utah 7-yard line with three minutes remaining. He finished the game with seven tackles (1.0 TFL), a fumble recovery and an interception. Paul’s tackle-for-loss helped the Utah defense force three-straight three-and-outs to start the second half. Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: Christian Sam, LB, ASU; Darius Allensworth, CAL; Chidobe Awuzie, CB; COLO; Rommel Mageo, LB, OSU; Blake Martinez, ILB, STAN; Kenny Young, LB, UCLA. - Pac-12 Football
09/14/15 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rSr, 5-11, 219 UTAH (2-0, 0-0)...Game: Utah 24, Utah State 14. With starting quarterback Travis Wilson injured, backup Kendal Thompson came off the bench to lead two second-half scoring drives as the Utes held off a pesky Utah State team. Wilson, who left the game with a sprained left shoulder in the second quarter, was 9-of-12 passing for 76 yards. Devontae Booker carries the bulk of the load on offense, running 31 times for 120 yards. Thompson's 2-yard run midway through the third quarter broke a 14-14 tie.
Takeaway: The Utes can grind with the best of them. After withstanding a physical Michigan attack in the opener, Utah came out tough against the Aggies with offensive at a premium. The Utes forced Utah State into three consecutive three-and-outs right after halftime and picked off Chuckie Keeton twice, including at the Utah 7 late in the game. Freshman receiver Britain Covey is an intriguing addition to an offense that needs help on the perimeter; he leads the team with 11 catches; he also set up a field goal against Utah State with a 30-yard punt return. Next: at Fresno State, Sept. 19. - The Sports Xchange
09/14/15 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Sr, 6-7, 232 Utah quarterback Travis Wilson, who left Friday's game against Utah State in the first half with a sprained left (non-throwing) shoulder, is expected back for the game at Oregon on Sept. 26, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. - The Sports Xchange
09/12/15 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Sr, 6-7, 232 Backup quarterback Kendal Thompson filled in for injured starter Travis Wilson and led No. 24 Utah on a pair of second-half scoring drives to secure a 24-14 victory over Utah State on Friday night. Wilson threw for 76 yards on 9-of-12 passing and added 49 yards and a touchdown on five carries before leaving the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. Running back Devontae Booker added 120 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries for Utah (2-0). Quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw for 256 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 22-of-35 passing for the Aggies (1-1). Keeton also threw a pair of interceptions -- including one late in the fourth quarter that stalled a potential comeback. Utah State fell to its in-state rival for the 14thtime in the last 15 meetings in the series.
With Wilson sidelined, Thompson helped the Utes break a 14-14 tie with a 2-yard run with 6:35 left in the third quarter. Kicker Andy Phillips tacked on a 30-yard field goal to make it 24-14 early in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Britain Covey set up the field goal with a 30-yard punt return to the Utah State 39-yard line. The Aggies could not answer. After driving his team down to the Utah 24, Keeton lost the ball on a sack, and linebacker Gionni Paul recovered the fumble at the Utes' 30 with 8:14 remaining. Keeton marched Utah State down to the Utah 11 on the Aggies' next drive, but threw an interception to Paul in the end zone with 2:58 left. - The Sports Xchange
09/12/15 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rSr, 5-11, 219 Utah entered the season with a star running back, a staunch defense and a pair of dependable kickers. The need was consistent, efficient play at quarterback. The No. 24 Utes got exactly that from senior starter Travis Wilson - for five quarters. Devontae Booker ran for 120 yards and a touchdown and the Utes beat Utah State 24-14 on Friday night in a victory marred by Wilson's left shoulder injury. "That's the nature of the game," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "A guy goes down and the next guy's got to step up. I asked Kendall to just move the football team and take care of the football. "We'll get more information tomorrow, but Travis is pretty sore right now."
The Utes (2-0) lost Wilson in the second quarter. He returned to the sideline with ice on his non-throwing shoulder and his arm in a sling. He was injured at the end of a 38-yard run that set up Booker's touchdown that gave Utah a 14-7 lead. Utah defensive lineman Hunter Dimick also went down with a leg injury in the second quarter. He earned a Pac-12 honorable mention in 2014 after posting 10 sacks and is one of the leaders of the defense. Whittingham wouldn't give specifics about the injuries, but said neither was season-ending. - AP Sports
09/10/15 - (CB) - Justin Thomas, rSr, 5-08, 180 Sept 8 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week: Utah defensive back Justin Thomas, a junior from Orange, Texas, helped Utah take down Michigan at home, 24-17. Thomas made a momentum-shifting, 55-yard interception off the Michigan quarterback for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, effectively ending the Wolverines’ drive. Along with Thomas’ first-career interception, the junior defensive back made four tackles on the night with one coming solo. With the win, Utah is now 3-1 all time against Michigan. Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: Devonte Downs, LB, CAL; Derek McCartney, DE/OLB, COLO, Rommel Mageo, LB, OSU; Blake Martinez, LB, STAN, Kenny Clark, DL, UCLA, Chris Hawkins, S, USC. - Pac-12 Football
09/09/15 - (CB) - Dominique Hatfield, Sr, 5-10, 175 Utah coach Kyle Whittingham reinstated suspended Dominique Hatfield on Monday, saying the cornerback served enough punishment. Whittingham said at a news conference he conferred with athletic director Chris Hill. Hatfield was dismissed from the team, but not the school, in July after he was charged with aggravated robbery and theft. Those charges were dropped, but Hatfield was charged with misdemeanor assault in August stemming from a fight during a party. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge, and a hearing is set for Sept. 21. "It was our belief, in fairness, that he was deserving of being reinstated," Whittingham said. Hatfield's attorney, Greg Skordas, said of his client: "He was very, very happy. It's been a long time coming."
Whittingham said Hatfield, who started 10 games last season, will play again as soon as he's ready. The junior from Los Angeles finished last season with 38 tackles, one interception and nine pass breakups. He was expected to start in 2015. "If he's ready this week, he'll play," Whittingham said. "If he's not ready for three weeks, he'll wait three weeks." Hatfield was charged with misdemeanor assault in August stemming from a fight during a summer party. A man told police he was attacked by four or five people during a party on July 5 and identified Hatfield as one of the men, authorities said. - AP Sports
09/04/15 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Sr, 6-7, 232 Quarterback Travis Wilson was 24-of-33 for 208 yards and added 53 yards and a touchdown on the ground to lead Utah to a 24-17 victory over Michigan in the season opener for both teams Thursday in Salt Lake City. Devontae Booker added 69 yards and a touchdown for the Utes, who beat the Wolverines for the second straight year and notched their third consecutive victory in the series. Quarterback Jake Rudock was 27-of-43 for 279 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his Michigan debut. The senior also threw three interceptions - including one in the fourth quarter that led to a game clinching touchdown for Utah.
The Utes held the Wolverines to 119 total yards and six first downs in the first half. Andy Phillips made a 30-yard field goal to put Utah ahead 3-0 in the first quarter and Kenny Allen answered from 29 yards out to even the score at 3-3 early in the second. The Utes quickly jumped back in front 10-3 when Booker punched the ball in from 1 yard out with 10:33 left before halftime. Utah extended its lead to 17-3 in the third quarter after Wilson capped off 10-play, 74-yard drive with a 14 yard scamper up the middle. Michigan scored its first touchdown after Rudock connected with Jake Butt on a 19-yard throw, making it 17-10 with 46 seconds left in the quarter. - The Sports Xchange
08/11/15 - (CB) - Dominique Hatfield, Sr, 5-10, 175 Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Monday suspended cornerback Dominique Hatfield is "going to be allowed to stay in school," but has not yet been cleared to return to the team. School spokesperson Liz Abel, however, said Hatfield was never kicked out of school in the first place and remains on scholarship. Hatfield's lawyer, Greg Skordas, was surprised by the university's statement and believed his client had been suspended from the university. "If that's what they're saying, that's great. I'm not going to argue with them," Skordas said after a chuckle.
Hatfield was dismissed from the team last month after he was charged with aggravated robbery and theft. Those charges were dropped, but the investigation is ongoing. Hatfield was also charged with misdemeanor assault last week stemming from a fight during a party. Skordas thought Hatfield was suspended from school and had lost his scholarship, but was thrilled with the news when informed by The Associated Press. "My understanding doesn't matter because the school is the school," Skordas said. "They're the ones that make the rules. Not me. I'm fine with that. That's great. That's the best news I've heard all day. "I can't speak for Dominique. I assumed he was (suspended from school), but I'm obviously wrong." Whittingham didn't rule out Hatfield's return to roster, but indicated the legal issues would need to be resolved first. - AP Sports
07/20/15 - (CB) - Dominique Hatfield, Sr, 5-10, 175 Prosecutors dismissed criminal charges Thursday against a University of Utah football player recently kicked off the team, but they are leaving open the possibility of refiling altered charges. New evidence suggests Dominique Hatfield was not the person who robbed a man at knifepoint who planned to buy an Xbox game console, said Salt Lake District Attorney chief deputy Blake Nakamura. But Nakamura said they still suspect Hatfield may have been aware of or involved in the scheme. Surveillance footage shows him in the area of the robbery, he said. Nakamura said they also still believe Hatfield tried to sell stolen cellphones to the same victim in a second interaction at the same car wash on June 30. The 20-year-old Hatfield was arrested that day and charged with aggravated robbery and theft. Hatfield's attorney Greg Skordas said it was clear from surveillance footage that Hatfield wasn't involved in the robbery. He commended prosecutors for taking a step back to reassess the case. Asked about the prosecution's belief that Hatfield is still guilty of theft, Skordas said if they had the evidence, they could have kept that charge. - AP Sports
07/20/15 - (CB) - Dominique Hatfield, Sr, 5-10, 175 Utah cornerback Dominique Hatfield has been charged with aggravated robbery and theft by prosecutors who say he robbed a man at knifepoint who planned to buy an Xbox game console from him. Charging documents show that Hatfield denied involvement in the robbery but acknowledged grabbing cellphones left around at parties by people who had been drinking. He said he then sold them on KSL.com. Hatfield was arrested when he returned to the car wash where the robbery occurred after the victim's wife posed as an interested buyer and set up a meeting to purchase two iPhones advertised online. University spokeswoman Liz Abel said coach Kyle Whittingham was not available but will address the situation when he returns. The 20-year-old Hatfield is a junior from Los Angeles who started 10 games in 2014. - AP Sports
07/20/15 - (CB) - Dominique Hatfield, Sr, 5-10, 175 Utah cornerback Dominique Hatfield has been arrested on suspicion of robbing a man who planned to buy an Xbox game console from him. Unified Police of Salt Lake County said the man met Hatfield at a car wash Tuesday after responding to an online classified ad for an Xbox when Hatfield pulled a knife and made off with $180. Hatfield, 20, remained in custody Wednesday, according to Salt Lake County Jail records. Bail was set at $50,000. Defense attorney Greg Skordas declined to comment Wednesday. Hatfield, a junior from Los Angeles, started 10 games in 2014 after switching from receiver to cornerback. He finished with 38 tackles, one interception and nine pass breakups.
University spokeswoman Liz Abel said members of the coaching staff were on vacation and coach Kyle Whittingham could not be reached by cellphone. "We will follow our usual protocol of letting the legal system run its course," Abel said. "When Coach Whittingham returns, he will gather information and make any decisions at that time." Hatfield was arrested when he returned to the car wash after the victim's wife posed as an interested buyer and set up a meeting to purchase two iPhones advertised online, according to a jail booking statement. The online classified ads for the Xbox and the iPhones were listed under the name David Wilkins. - AP Sports
05/05/15 - (OG) - *Jeremiah Poutasi, Jr, 6-5, 335 A closer look at the Titans' nine picks: Round 3/66 - Jeremiah Poutasi, T, 6-5, 335, Utah...Poutasi comes to the Titans with a very good chance to start right away at right tackle. All he has to do is beat out unproductive free-agent signee Byron Bell and career backup Byron Stingily in camp. If he does so, then the Titans will have four-fifths of an offensive line with three years experience or less. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - (DE) - Nate Orchard, Sr, 6-3, 250 A closer look at the Browns' 12 picks: Round 2/51 - Nate Orchard, OLB, 6-3, 250, Utah...Orchard played end in college but will be an outside linebacker in the Browns' 3-4 defense. He had 3.5 sacks in 2013 and 18.5 last season. The Browns need to improve their pass rush because Jabaal Sheard left in free agency to sign with New England and Barkevious Mingo is coming off shoulder surgery. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - (WR) - Kaelin Clay, Sr, 5-10, 195 A closer look at the Buccaneers' seven picks: Round 6/184 - Kaelin Clay, 5-10, 193, WR, Utah...Coach Lovie Smith was spoiled in Chicago with Devin Hester returning kicks. The Bucs played musical chairs in the return game last season and weren't very good. They addressed it with Clay, who had four returns for TDs last season to lead college football. Had a memorable turnover when he set the ball down at the 1-yard going into the end zone vs. Oregon and the fumble was returned for a touchdown by the Ducks. - The Sports Xchange
05/04/15 - (CB) - Eric Rowe, Sr, 6-1, 205 A closer look at the Eagles' six picks: Round 2/47 - CB Eric Rowe, CB, 6-1, 205, Utah...The Eagles like big corners that excel in press man coverage and Rowe fits the bill. He also has extensive experience at safety. Thirty-six of his 45 career starts at Utah were at safety. The Eagles likely will start him out at corner, where he'll compete for the starting job opposite Byron Maxwell. - The Sports Xchange
04/22/15 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rSr, 5-11, 219 Devontae Booker's football career could have easily ended years ago - on more than one occasion. Now he's the centerpiece of the Utah offense and a year away from a possible selection in the NFL draft. The Utes running back was eight yards shy of setting the school's single-season rushing record in his first year with the program. That after sitting out all of 2013 due to an academic issue following two years at American River College. The 2013 season was the second time academics forced him to miss an entire season. Booker signed with Washington State out of high school but sat out in 2010 before playing for American River in 2011. He's played three years and missed two in the last five years - not an ideal scenario. "It was frustrating," Booker said. "I thought I was going to come up in 2013, but things didn't go out how it was supposed to."
Booker could be chasing the NFL right now after rushing for 1,512 yards in the Pac-12 last season. But the sociology major wanted to finish his education and NFL types wanted to see more. Booker was a relative unknown when he went to Utah and had to beat out Bubba Poole in the fall for the starting job. "I didn't know much about him when he first got here, but he definitely changed my view on him," quarterback Travis Wilson said. "He really stunned a lot of people and made us better throughout the whole season." Booker won't sneak up on anyone in 2015 after missing out on the Pac-12 rushing title by just 64 yards in 2014. Teams were stacking the box by the end of the season and the Utes will continue to see more of the same. Co-offensive coordinator Jim Harding said the coaching staff has to be more creative with different formations, motions, using the quarterback in the run game and using Booker more in the pass game after he had 43 receptions for 306 yards last season. - AP Sports
02/23/15 - (CB) - Eric Rowe, Sr, 6-1, 205 2015 NFL Combine Five Things to Know: 4. Corner or safety? Rowe shows the skillset for both: At 6-1 and 205 pounds with long arms, Eric Rowe saw playing time at both safety and cornerback in college with scouts split on where his best position might be at the next level. But instead of limiting him to one or the other, he has the versatility to do both, and his workout numbers on Monday only backed that up. Rowe finished among the best performers in Indianapolis with a 4.45 40-yard dash, 39-inch vertical, 10-5 broad jump, 6.70 3-cone drill, 3.97 short shuttle and 19 reps on the bench. He checked a number of boxes and might have secured his spot as a top-100 prospect in the 2015 class. Some teams still like him best at cornerback while others see him as a safety, but regardless, he has the skill-set to play either and start in the NFL. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/19/15 - (WR) - Dres Anderson, Sr, 6-1, 187 2015 NFL Combine Quick Hits: Utah WR Dres Anderson hasn't seen the field since October when he suffered a knee injury that ended his college career. But his meniscus tear is almost fully healed and he plans on running at Utah's Pro Day on March 26. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/17/15 - (DE) - Nate Orchard, Sr, 6-3, 250 2015 DRAFT SCOUT PRE-COMBINE TOP 64 DRAFT PROSPECTS: 42/5. Nate Orchard, OLB, Utah, 6-3, 252, 4.76, 2...Orchard has a high-rev motor and can fire off the line in a blink as a pass rusher whose long strides surprise quarterbacks with a sudden impact. That helped him total 18.5 sacks in 2014 and he finished his career with an impressive stat on an important trait that is often overlooked, forced fumbles. His eight forced fumbles is tied for second in team history. Orchard was a Ted Hendricks Award and Morris Award winner, but his biggest prizes are his wife, the former Maegen Webber, and their daughter, Katherine Mae, whose full name is Nap'aa Lilo Fakahafua Orchard in respect for his birth mother, Ana Fakahafua. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
02/16/15 - (WR) - Dres Anderson, Sr, 6-1, 187 2015 NFL COMBINE: PROSPECTS WITH THE MOST TO GAIN OR LOSE, MEDICAL EVALUATIONS: WR Dres Anderson, Utah...Scouts haven't seen Anderson, who is the son of former NFL receiver Flipper Anderson, on the field since October when he suffered a knee injury that prematurely ended his time at Utah. He isn't expected to be ready to run in Indianapolis, but teams will soon receive an update on his rehab process. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/16/15 - (WR) - Kaelin Clay, Sr, 5-10, 195 2015 NFL COMBINE WIDE RECEIVER SURPRISE INVITE: Kaelin Clay, Utah....Although best known for fumbling the ball before entering the end zone vs. Oregon, Clay has speed that could impress in Indianapolis. His size and unpolished routes aren't ideal for the NFL, but standout times during speed drills could turn heads. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/25/15 - (DE) - Nate Orchard, Sr, 6-3, 250 2015 Senior Bowl: 10 prospects who helped themselves: DE/OLB Nate Orchard, Utah (6-3, 251)...Despite a record-setting senior season at Utah, Orchard wasn't considered a first-round pick entering the week and was far from being a top-100 lock. But he forced evaluators to take a second look after he routinely flashed during practices, winning with edge speed, long arms and active energy. Orchard has his limitations, but he also uses his bag of tricks to be effective, reinforcing that at times the end result is more important than the process. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/22/15 - (DE) - Nate Orchard, Sr, 6-3, 250 2015 Senior Bowl, Thursday: Utah's Nate Orchard blooming for North...Given that he won the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end and the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12's best defensive lineman, it would be hard to characterize Utah's Nate Orchard as underrated. Still, his performance this week at the Senior Bowl is turning skeptics into believers. Thursday's practice was a perfect example. When the Tennessee Titans elected to use Orchard as a pass rusher, the 6-foot-3, 251-pounder was a constant thorn in the side of opposing offensive linemen and the skill position players they're attempting to protect.
Using a variety of pass rush moves -- including a varied burst off the ball, over-arm swim and very effective bull-rush, Orchard consistently beat the North's tackles in one-on-one drills and was even more noticeable in scrimmages, tracking down Washington State wideout Vince Mayle for a big loss on an end-around, recording an interception of Baylor's Bryce Petty on a screen pass and consistently applying pressure as a rusher. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com