Thretton Palamo has gone through plenty of changes during his time with the Utah Utes. The lifelong rugby player came to Salt Lake City as a running back, but struggled to find his place in the Utes’ offense. That prompted the coaching staff to find a new home for him and he landed on the defensive line as an end. Now, with Utah suffering a number of injuries in their defensive front, Palamo is making the most of his final opportunity during spring practice.
The Utes are shuffling new faces through defensive line drills this spring with projected starters Nate Orchard, Trevor Reilly and Jason Whittingham being held out of contact situations. That has opened up the door for Palamo to get some much-needed reps which has done wonders for his growth as a football player. Defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake has raved about his improvement this spring saying, “The sky’s the limit for the kid. All he needs to do is play football.”
Palamo ran into issues on offense because the game was moving too fast for him at running back. His size, speed and raw athletic ability inspired the staff to try him out in other positions, which is how he ended up at defensive end. While he’s been learning to play on the defensive side of the ball, his ability on the defensive line continues to grow the more time he sees on the field. While he started the spring seen as a marginal pass rusher, he’s grown into a complete player that will push for playing time next fall.
He will have to overcome a lot of competition to keep himself in the starting lineup, but Palamo’s improvement this spring has earned him a place in the Utah defensive rotation at the very least.