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April 4, 2006The Utes opened up week two of spring football with a spirited practice at McCarthey Practice field. The start of second week of spring camp was a wild one with the rumor that roommates Ryan Smith and Thomas Huff have quit the team for undisclosed reasons. However, the rumored defections did little to hamper Utah's efforts in practice today.
Bullets in the Wind
Tommy Grady had no problem throwing into the wind today. As the day went on, both the wind and Grady's arm got stronger. Grady finished the scrimmage situation on fire, going seven for eight, including a 26 yard pass to Derrek Richards. Brett Ratliff had the offensive play of the day as he hit Brent Casteel in stride for a 45 yard touchdown. Ratliff went five for eight on the day and showed considerable poise in the pocket. Kevin Dunn went two for three, including a nice pass to R.J Rice for 11 yards. Dunn is seeing the whole field and coming right along and making the right choice on when to get out of the pocket and make a pass on the run before he goes out of bounds to a wide out that is going to the side lines.
The offense really looked like it was starting to come together today. Running back Mike Liti was exceptionally solid today, and he is looking like he may have the inside track to being named the starting back. Liti, who has bulked up since last season, showed that he can run between the tackles or get to the corner fast, making solid cuts up with field. His 15 yard gain was the longest of the day. Daryl Poston also had another good day, with a long run of 12 yards. Poston also looks like he may have solved the ball security issues he struggled with last season.
Center Kyle Gunther is making a name for himself this year as he has separated himself as the starter. Tyler Williams is also having a good spring camp, and will continue to push Gunther into fall camp. However, with his performance thus far, Gunther knows that the starting job is his to lose.
Star of the Day
Mike Liti continues to impress as the most powerful RB in the back field. Liti is a pure north-south runner with the ability to smash through the holes and keep his legs churning through contact.
Running back Darrell Mack is still nursing a hamstring injury that kept him out of action last week. Eric Weddle was also held out of practice for precautionary reasons. Offensive lineman Dustin Hensel missed practice with a knee injury. Lineman Eric Pettit spent his time in the pit working strength back into his wrist. Others in the Pit included long snapper Pete Aneiro, safety Steve Tate and quarterback Brian Johnson.