A serious knee injury to Utah running back Troy McCormick will keep the speedster out for the rest of spring practice and could possibly cost him the 2015 season, the university announced Monday.
McCormick was used very little as a redshirt freshman in 2014, but after a breakout performance in the Utes' victory over Colorado State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl -- five carries, 86 yards rushing -- he appeared in line for a significant role complementing bruiser Devontae Booker, the Pac-12's second-leading rusher in 2014 (1,512 yards).
"That's the most unfortunate part of the game," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. "He's just a great kid, and it tears your heart out to see that happen."
With McCormick's status in doubt, Bubba Poole, the team's leading rusher in 2013, doesn't figure to get as much practice time at slot receiver, as originally planned. The coaching staff moved Poole to the slot -- McCormick got some work there, too -- in an effort to find him more opportunities, with Booker set to again get the bulk of the carries.
If junior-college transfer Joseph Williams, who initially attended Connecticut, impresses early upon his arrival, he could quickly become the No. 2 option -- allowing Booker to focus on the slot.
This highlight shows why Utah fans were excited about McCormick's potential: