SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - It's the most intriguing position battle at Utes football training camp -- the fight to become the starting running back. Three players, Harvey Langi, John White and Thretton Palamo are all vying for the job, and as of now, there doesn't seem to be a clear cut favorite.
"They're all three working hard," said head coach Kyle Whittingham. "We're really not going to be able to separate those guys until we start getting some physical contact going."
"Ya, it's pretty wide open," said White, a junior college transfer from Harbor College in Los Angeles. "We all compete and whoever works hardest gets the position. We all love each other, we all back each other up. I mean we're a big family, so when someone is in, we're rooting for them."
"Everyone knows we have this competition for running back," said Langi, a highly recruited player from Bingham High School. "The stakes are high and we need the perfect guy."
But who is the perfect guy? Langi and Palamo are more every down power backs, while White is more of a speedster. However, none of the backs have ever carried the ball in a Division-1 college football game before.
"I haven't done any D-1 plays, but I feel like I'm ready," said White. "We've all been busting our butts, so I just think we're ready to go."
When all is said and done, there will a winner of the competition -- or two.
"We'd like to see one or two guys separate themselves," said Whittingham. "There's just not enough reps for three in my opinion. But a one or two-back system is fine, but you just can't do it with three."
For Langi, who grew up in Utah and led Bingham to back-to-back 5A state championships, he can't believe he has the opportunity to start right away as a true freshman.
"It's just crazy sometimes to think about," he said. "You come into a huge school like this and all those older guys at this position that have been here for a long time are all gone. Now, we have different types of talents trying to go after that same position."