This year's too-early look at Utah football in 2021

With 2020 finally behind us, I can’t wait to start talking about what looks like an interesting and exciting 2021 season. To start us off, Kuithe is returning.

The question marks about the young defense seem to have been answered in 2020, but we head into 2021 with the same questions about the offense. Who will the be the QB and RB?

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Bernard will be the RB. All we know about the QB is that it’s someone with no experience here. I’m still rooting for one of the three younger guys. I don’t want the Baylor guy to win it.

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Given our improving QB situation, I would like to see the below.

  • I’m hopeful our o-line will continue to improve, especially given their age. That said, I’ve been hearing from Whit/coaches about how good o-line is in recent years, but haven’t really seen it. O-line just have to be decent, not great.

  • Would like to see better WR development. We need consistent good hands besides Grandpa Covey and Kuithe (i know he’s a TE). Thompson seems to be getting there. Not sure about Enis – seems to have potential. I had been asking myself why would good WRs choose Utah. Well, If Whit & Co are making in-roads with QBs, then hopeful better WRs can see that.

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You remember the Travis Wilson years? We’re much improved from that situation. Back then, every team wrecked our oline. Now, it’s really just usc, uw, and Oregon that wreck us in that way.

Agreed on the WRs. Kuithe, covey, and Thompson is a strong start though. Just need one more big burner.

I remember. It’s all relative. During Huntley and Moss years, I thought they had to scramble behind the LOS too much.

Yes. Fortunately, Huntley threw really well on the run.

But poor Travis would have to run for his life on every down, even against teams like Arizona and Washington state.

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The schedule is favorable for 2021. Road trip to SC is the toughest game other than Oregon and that one is home.

Pretty good showing and very encouraging for 2021.

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Limited data, but I was happy with the defense. We definitely need to find a pass rush, though.

Absolutely amazing results given there were only two returning starters.

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Coming back.

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2021 All American Team?

Devin Lloyd

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I keep getting the prep alert emails regarding scheduling my appointment to get vaccinated.

Me want football, tailgating, and hanging out with friends.

Me also want beer.

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Kyle does have a knack for figuring out how to thrive in whatever circumstances he finds himself.

Football team filling voids

The NCAA Transfer Portal was instituted in Oct. 2018 as a tool used to streamline the transfer process for student-athletes.

I won’t bore you with every last detail, but a student-athlete wishing to transfer can have his/her name and contact information added to the portal database by his/her current school’s compliance office, making it visible to all other schools wishing to make contact and recruit.

Others have said this in the past, but for football and basketball, the transfer portal has essentially created free agency thanks to hundreds of names being added on an annual basis. In any case, the portal is now a part of the recruiting process, there to be used if a coaching staff needs immediate help at a given position.

On this topic, credit to Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham and his coaching staff, who have been willing to adapt to the times and hit the transfer portal as needed. The last month has offered a handful of prime examples.

At quarterback, Cam Rising suffered a shoulder injury that will keep him shelved through the spring, and Jake Bentley appeared likely to leave after one season. So, Whittingham hit the portal and pulled out Texas freshman Ja’Quinden Jackson and Baylor graduate transfer Charlie Brewer. Both players committed within 24 hours of the season ending on Dec. 19.

At running back, Ty Jordan’s death left a significant hole, compounded by the fact TJ Green, Devin Brumfield and Jordan Wilmore previously transferred. Whittingham again went to the portal and pulled out Oklahoma’s T.J. Pledger and LSU’s Chris Curry.

That’s four transfers, two each at two clear positions of need, all thanks to the transfer portal. Furthermore, Whittingham was able to get all of this done before the second semester started, which means everyone is now on campus and will be able to participate in spring practice in less than two months.

One could argue that the transfer portal is there to help solve problems, and Utah certainly solved some big ones since the season ended.

https://mailchi.mp/sltrib/red-all-over-whittingham-thrives-in-portal?e=f3f267d14c

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