Utah Utes Preview 2022: Who are the top 10 players going into the season?
Clark Phillips, CB Soph.
The 5-10, 184-pound Second Team All-Pac-12 performer and excellent pro prospect might not be one of the stars in the offensive backfield, and he might not be one of the killers on the front seven, but he now needs to be considered among the best corners in the country.
A tough hitter for his size, he made 86 tackles with three interceptions – two pick-sixes – and 15 broken up passes over the last two seasons.
Cameron Rising, QB Jr.
The 6-2, 220-pounder overcame an injury that cost him 2020 to take over the starting job early last year. He earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors completing 64% of his passes for 2,493 yards and 20 touchdowns and five interceptions last year with 499 rushing yards and six scores.
Tavion Thomas, RB Jr.
The 6-2, 238-pound junior earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors last season running for 1,108 yards – 5.4 yards per carry – and 21 touchdowns. He ran 129 times for 689 yards and seven scores in two seasons at Cincinnati.
Brant Kuithe, TE Jr.
The 6-2, 222-pound three-time All-Pac-12 target has caught 129 passes for 1,676 yards – 13 yards per catch – with 13 touchdowns and four rushing scores in his four seasons.
Braeden Daniels, OT Jr.
The 6-4, 299-pound veteran tackle is going into his fourth year as a starter. He started out at guard early in his career but settled in at tackle. Second Team All-Pac-12.
Sataoa Laumea, OG Soph.
A pounding 6-4, 312-pound two-time All-Pac-12 guard will once again settle in at his spot on the right side. He’s one of the league’s best run blockers.
Cole Bishop, S Soph.
The 6-2, 206-pound sophomore stepped up in his first season earning Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 honors making 54 tackles with five broken up passes with three sacks and nine tackles for loss.
Junior Tafuna, DT Soph.
The 6-3, 297-pound sophomore is growing into the anchor of the defense, earning Second Team All-Pac-12 honors last season making 33 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss with a fumble recovery.
Dalton Kincaid, TE Sr.
The 6-4, 242-pound all-around tight end earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 honors last season catching 36 passes for 510 yards – 14.2 yards per catch – with eight touchdowns.
Mohamoud Diabate, LB Jr.
The 6-4, 220-pound Florida transfer made 176 tackles with six sacks, 14 tackles for loss, one interception with three forced fumbles in his three seasons. He’ll likely take over in the middle of the linebacking corps.