Utah football has mastered the two most important things, the second leads to more success than the first


No one has to be any kind of football polymath to understand that the two most important factors that contribute to the success of a college program are 1) recruiting, having on everyone’s mind this signing weekand 2) player development, which everyone thinks about all year round.

Kyle Whittingham circles and underlines and asterisks is the first highlight whenever anyone gives him credit for what Utah football has achieved over the years, and it’s recognition and praise for him. for taking a seat in the backseat and giving the appropriate nod to the players from before and their talent. Some head coaches shout about their own greatness. It’s clear that the Utes are becoming more and more powerful at drawing all kinds of capable athletes make them one of the elite teams in Pac-12.

But the latter should also be noted and marked.

What Utah has done in coaching its staff, in putting them in the right positions and helping them hone their skills in those positions, is not just illustrated in the number of players Ute sends. to the NFL, but also in the promotion made inside the show, season after season. A general look at each of those over the years has made that clear.

The Utes are very good.

Focusing only on this season, look at the athletes with at least one hit to the next level. And consider how they were perceived out of high school. Most of them were respected, but most of them rose to prominence under Whittingham’s guidance.

Acknowledge them for their dedication and diligence, but… some assistant coaches somewhere, some assistant coaches, have educated and guided, encouraged and mentored them in creating make the remarkable leap from the pre-college ball and, in turn, enable them in some cases to attract the attention of grizzles, professional talent evaluators potential for a living.

Those scouts are sometimes confused, rarely get things right, or completely fooled, but, either way, they’re usually not easily caught up in the exaggerations and hullaballoo presented by so many. college football observer. Meaning, they are tough and they are not easily impressed.

But the Utah players made an impression.

Ready, street paver Devin Lloyd and return specialist UK Covey, run again TJ Pledger and Cole Fotheringham have revealed they will be ready for the NFL. Other Utes, such as Nick Ford Center and tight finish Brant Kuithe and rerun Tavion Thomas, among others, can jump down that path.


Let’s just consider those players as examples of potential client growth in the Eccles Football Complex.

Lloyd arrived in Utah after being scouted by college football teams like UNLV and San Jose State. He actually made a verbal commitment to the Rebels before thinking he could do a little better. He was delighted when Utah coaches showed up at one of his high school basketball games and then made him an offer.

“I’m very happy about that,” said Lloyd.

He was supposed to be. There were 1,644 composing-ranked athletes ahead of him when he entered college. It’s wonderful to think about now.

At Utah, the linebacker progressed through a year in red, and then coached by coaches. He’s transformed himself from a frontiersman – at least in the minds of some recruiters – into an all-American and first-round NFL player.

What a season he’s had and what kind of future he has.

Things like that don’t just happen. People make it happen, and Lloyd isn’t the only one doing the grunt work. It’s worth appreciating – all those quiet days and nights when no loud loudspeakers or spotlights shine on a player and his coach, no cheering crowds, when They humbly map out a daily schedule for improvement, while they work with room weights and in film research. Meanwhile, at least initially, more glorious attention is being paid to other players further down the two-deep leaderboard.

That process continues, even after an athlete emerges as a beginner. Push and push. For players like Lloyd, the status quo is not enough. They want and are willing to reach for more – and Utah’s assistant coaches are not only willing to help, they have the acumen and ability to achieve what every coach must prioritize. – to match the highest abilities of the players with their results on the field. .

When the Utes won the Pac-12 championship, it was an assertion Whittingham made his mark when he said his coaching staff were among the best in the country.

He may be right.

Little Covey was a stellar high school quarterback, straight out of Timpview, but some recruiters weren’t smitten with him, considering his size, 5-9, 170. That’s it. stupid way of thinking. Utah’s coaches don’t think so. They took the nimble, cunning athlete and made him a signature part of their success – in recipients and in special teams. He is a three-star player who is rated overall nationally at 1,677.

Fotheringham was a three-star prospect from San Clemente High and Ford, a three-star from San Pedro High, whose business was in Utah, Ford anchored the offensive line and Fotheringham emerged as one of the closing points. useful end for Whittingham being called the best team in the country. Fotheringham believes he is ready to switch to the pros, Ford will decide later.

Pledger arrived in Utah from Oklahoma, where he struggled to win game time his first two years and hit 451 yards in his third year before moving to Utah, where he ran for 671 yards.

He could have achieved more if not for Thomas, who transferred from Cincinnati to Independent Community College before landing in Utah. After overcoming his tendency to handle the ball as if he were wearing boxing gloves, Thomas has blasted 20 hasty touchdowns this season, winning an All-Pac-12 title for the first team. Thomas is an FBS-level star and a blossoming professional prospect.

Kuithe, also a three-star player, from Texas, played far beyond that in Utah, as a three-time tight finisher all second-team Pac-12, a receiver that every row Players lining up against the Utes all have to pay considerable attention to cover.

And that’s just the beginning. There are others among the Utes, official NFL players, all at different stages of readiness.

Whether they’re ready for the pros this season or at some point in the future, note these players every year that come to Utah like this and when they’re done, they’re so much more that. They were all good in the preparatory ranks, and then…

And then, as the Utes, they became, if not great, so much better.

The beneficial beauty of factor 2 for Utah is that it improves Ute’s prospects for success at number 1.

And, Utah football is proof. Utah football has mastered the two most important things, the second leads to more success than the first

Beth Allcock

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