Weber State football camp: Team looking for toughness as chemistry is best-ever

Saturday , August 12, 2017 - 4:45 AM

BRANDON GARSIDE, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — The floodgates of X’s and O’s have been opened, and the offensive and defense systems of Weber State football have been taught nearly in their entirety as fall camp continues for the Wildcats.

“We’re at saturation point right now. We’ve got as much as we can put in at least for a couple of days,” head coach Jay Hill said. “Some guys have handled it really well and others not so much. There’s some ground we’ve got to make up right now, making sure we know the schemes.”

Despite information overload, Hill says his team is further along at this point in the process than any of his past teams.

Also better than ever in the Jay Hill era is team cohesiveness, but it will be tested as the days feel longer with camp wrapping up its second week.

“This is the best we’ve been as far as guys getting along and not having any guys in the locker room with any negativity,” Hill said. “The grind is hitting right now, this is when they start complaining and things like that, so this is something we’ve got to continue to work on and address, but they’ve been the best they’ve been so far.”

That off-field chemistry will translate to the team’s on-field performance, according to Hill, as players will trust and rely on one another to be successful.

“They get to understand each other, they’re playing for each other,” Hill said. “When they want to be good, they prepare, because they don’t want to let down their teammates. I think the team’s closer now. I think that the expectations, they understand.”

Aside from typical injuries like pulled hamstrings that come with a physically demanding camp, a couple players have suffered concussions and starting senior safety Arnold Lopez is sidelined with an injured ACL.

Hill and his staff will keep a close eye on Lopez, and depending on his progress he may try to play with the injury.

Hill said the right side of the offensive line, one of his biggest concerns in camp, “made huge strides this week” and he’s happy with the emergence of freshman Ty Whitworth and the success of sophomore Junior Latu switching from defense to offense.

“We’ve still got some guys that need to get tougher,” Hill added. “We’ve got to handle issues the right way. We still have a ways to go in certain aspects, but that will be addressed. We’ve got to be tougher with some guys.”

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at bgarside@standard.net, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.

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