Coach Whittingham makes big announcements for Utes

Posted at 10:38 PM, Sep 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-14 00:38:03-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham had three big announcements after Tuesday Practice.

"Kylie Fitts is done for the year,” Whittingham said. “It was way more extensive than we thought when we got the initial report, and so unfortunately he's done for the year."

Fitts was primed for a big season his senior year, but now the defensive end is expected to apply for a medical hardship waiver to play next season.

The second big announcement involved Joe Williams, who started at running back in the first two games of the season.

"Joe Williams is going to retire from football,” Whittingham said. “His body is just worn out. It's nothing to do with playing time, nothing to do with any bad feelings. He's leaving on good terms. He's just not the same guy. He's got some things that are really bothering him physically.

"Where I'm at mentally and physically I'm not at the point where I can go out there and compete to the level I need to for the team and everybody,” Williams said. “My feelings is this is the right decision. I've been playing this sport since I was six years old, and it's just caught up with me. I don't want it to be detrimental five years from now. I've got to be healthier for the longer part of my life. I'm about to get my degree this December. I've got a better future looking over me with decision I have made."

Williams' departure opens the door for true freshman Zack Moss. He’s been listed at the top of the depth chart at running back after rushing for 58 yards on 12 carries against BYU.

"I'm ready,” Moss said. “I've been preparing for it for a while now. I wish him the best, he's a great running back. I'm just going to come in and work harder than I was before and just do what I need to do."

The final big announcement involved senior wide receiver Cory Butler-Byrd. He was suspended from the team last month after being charged with damaging a police car and building on campus.

"Cory Butler-Byrd has been instated,” Whittingham said. “He is eligible to play. Whether or not he plays this week is yet to be determined, but he is now eligible to play and served his two-game suspension. We feel like he has done everything that has been asked of him. He's still go things he'll adhere to the rest of the way, but he is good to go."