MH 031418 Weber State Football Spring Practice 11-2

The Weber State football team holds their first spring practice on Wednesday, March, 14, 2018, at Stewart Stadium in Ogden.

OGDEN — As spring football rolls on for Weber State, more roster changes came to light as the team continues to sort out personnel in preparation for the 2018 season.

For health reasons, the Wildcats will be without would-be seniors Landon Stice at linebacker and offensive lineman Baron Bruce on medical retirements.

“Stice had some concussions last year and he had concussions before, and it just got to the point where it didn’t make sense to push that limit,” WSU head coach Jay Hill said. “Baron Bruce had a back surgery that was pretty major, and the doctors just felt it best that with the surgery that he had that he probably didn’t play anymore.”


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Tight end Jacob Whitmer, a talented junior college signee in the 2018 class, will not be on the team for undisclosed reasons. Whitmer did not participate in spring camp.

Hill says the changes are not out of the ordinary, citing the 2017 departures of running back Eric Wilkes and linebacker Emmett Tela.

“I love Baron and I love Stice,” Hill said. “You wish the best for Whitmer, but those other two guys bled with us and put their whole heart and soul into this program ... It seems like every single year there’s one or two of those ... You deal with it, especially at this level.”

The team donned pads for the first time this week and both offensive and defensive schemes have been fully installed, presenting a learning curve for new players.

As expected, nobody has yet emerged as frontrunner at the quarterback position.

“Those guys have got to step up. Now that they’re getting some pressure in their face right now, none of them are handling it quite good enough, but that’s not quite uncommon,” Hill said. “There’s a lot right now, and I suspect that they’ll just continue to get better and better with that.”

Hill said the cornerback position is “on track”, but he is still looking for one more player to step up.

“In our defense, you better have five or six guys you can play with. That’s still an area of concern we’ve got to continue to develop some guys,” he said.

As the team continues to learn the system, Hill is pleased with the team’s toughness but wants to see execution improve.

The second week of spring practice wraps up Saturday and continues next week. The annual spring game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, April 14.

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on

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