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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Utah
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  08/12/22 - Cole BishopSo/2025, Utah + More +

  Utah safety Cole Bishop came on strong at the end of last season. As a true freshman in 2021, the Peachtree City, Georgia, native became a starter in the ninth game of the season against Stanford. While Bishop established himself as a force in the Utes' defensive backfield, he worked hard in the offseason to improve his skill set. What aspect of his game did he focus on? "Definitely I need to improve on my man-coverage skills. We didn't run a ton of man last year and previously in Utah history we've been known to run a lot of man," Bishop said. "So I've focused a lot on that in film study, trying to make sure I know the defense as good as I can - not just my position but other positions as well."

As far as personal goals for this season? Bishop would like to get some takeaways. "I need some interceptions. I didn't get any last year," he said. "I need to get a few of those." Last season, Bishop was a Pac-12 all-conference honorable-mention selection and he led all true freshmen on the team with 54 tackles (nine for loss), three sacks and five pass breakups. He also blocked a 36-yard field goal attempt against Oregon. Against Arizona, Bishop tallied a career-high three tackles for loss, the most by a Utah true freshman since 2007. Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley appreciates the diligence that Bishop brings to the program. "Cole's a stud. Cole's one that makes you a better coach, right?" he said. "He's another guy that's a student of the game. You see him studying film all the time." - Deseret News


So/2025 SS Cole BishopUtah
News Source: Deseret News
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  The University of Utah has its highest-ever preseason ranking. The Utes, 10-4 overall and Pac-12 champions for the first time last season, were slotted at No. 8 in the preseason AFCA Coaches Poll, released on Monday morning. The No. 8 preseason ranking eclipses the program's previous preseason high in either major poll, No. 14 in the AP Top 25 ahead of the 2019 season. That team peaked in early December of that season, getting to No. 5 in the AP and Coaches Polls, plus the College Football Playoff rankings.

Last season's Rose Bowl qualifier began the season unranked in the Coaches Poll, but wound up finishing 12th, its highest finish in that poll since the vaunted 13-0 2004 team finished fourth. Kyle Whittingham's program was joined Monday in the poll by fellow-Pac-12 programs Oregon (No. 12) and USC (No. 15). "You have to just embrace them," Whittingham said of managing expectations on Monday afternoon following Utah's fifth fall camp practice. "They are there and there's no hiding from them, so we will meet them head on. We have to understand we're getting a lot of national attention and we have to be mature enough to handle that, go about our business the right way and not think we have all the answers, that we've arrived." - Salt Lake Tribune


rJr/2024 QB Cameron RisingUtah
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  2022 PRESEASON WUERFFEL TROPHY (COMMUNITY SERVICE) WATCHLIST: Dalton Kincaid, Utah, Sr., TE,...Entering 2022, Kincaid has 43 career games in Division I football after transferring to Utah in 2020 from San Diego. He earned All-Pac-12 honors in 2021 after playing in all 14 games with 14 starts, recording 36 receptions for 510 yards (14.2 ypc) and eight touchdowns. Kincaid is an avid volunteer in the Salt Lake community, working directly with autism non-profits, including the Kids on the Move program in Salt Lake City. - Utah Football

rSr/2023 TE Dalton KincaidUtah
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  2022 PRESEASON ALLSTATE AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM NOMINEE: Dalton Kincaid, University of Utah,...Kincaid's 14.2 yards per reception ranked third among tight ends in the Pac-12 while his eight touchdowns ranked third in the Pac-12 overall (first among TEs) and fifth among tight ends in the FBS. He scored at least one touchdown in the final three games of the season. Kincaid's versatility as a tight end became clear early on in 2021 when he went off for a season-high 75 yards on four catches against Weber State in the season opener, scoring two touchdowns. He also had four receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown in Utah's win over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game. The Las Vegas, Nev., native also was named a nominee for the AFCA Good Works Team for his commitment to serving the community. He is an avid volunteer in the Salt Lake community, working directly with autism non-profits, including the Kids on the Move program in Salt Lake City. - Utah Football

rSr/2023 TE Dalton KincaidUtah
News Source: Utah Football
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  08/11/22 - Devaughn VelerSo/2025, Utah + More +

  Utah quarterback Cam Rising's surgically-repaired right shoulder is closer to 100% healthy than it was at this time a year ago, so Kyle Whittingham last week made no bones about what he wants to see more of from his offense this fall. But to whom? Collectively, the receiver room did not produce enough in 2021, a fact that fourth-year sophomore Devaughn Vele, the team's projected No. 1 wideout this fall, was willing to admit.

"Last year, we had a great season, but the receiver group, I felt like we won in spite of us a few times," Vele said Monday afternoon following the Utes' fifth practice of fall camp. "I thought we could have contributed a lot more last season. That's been how I've felt this offseason, and I think the rest of the group in the wide receiver room feels the same way. We have a lot of expectations upon us, but I'm confident we can do it." Vele, a former walk-on, enjoyed his best season as a collegian in 2021, finishing with 23 catches for 389 yards and a memorable flea-flicker touchdown at USC. Solomon Enis, a fifth-year senior, had 22 catches for 248 yards and a touchdown. - Salt Lake Tribune


rSo/2025 WR Devaughn VeleUtah
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  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Braeden Daniels, Utah, Jr RT,...Daniels, an offensive lineman from Carrollton, Texas, has played in 35 games at Utah with 29 starts between left guard and right tackle. He earned All-Pac-12 in 2021 after he started all 14 games, showing his versatility at both guard and tackle to lead the Utes to a No. 1 rushing offense ranking in the league with the Utes also ranking in the top-10 nationally in sacks allowed per game. Daniels also started all 14 games in 2021 as a redshirt freshman, dominating at the left guard spot to become the first freshman offensive lineman in the Kyle Whittingham era to start every game in a season. - Utah Football

rJr/2024 OG Braeden DanielsUtah
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  08/09/22 - Tavion ThomasrJr/2024, Utah + More +

  Running back Tavion Thomas is grateful for the year he has spent in Utah's football program. He has certainly found a home with the Utes. "I've got a lot of experience here. Everything is slowing down for me," Thomas said. "I've gained some friendships here, some good relationships here. I've learned the culture." And Utah will be counting on him heavily this season after he broke the school's single-season rushing touchdown record with 21 and also rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2021. "When you get to the NFL level, you can't get away with certain things that you can get away with in college. Your bad day could possibly be your last day. I have to train these guys to understand that you have to bring it every day." - Utah RBs coach Quinton Ganther on keeping his running backs motivated.

First-year Utah running backs coach Quinton Ganther loves the talent he's inherited, including Thomas. "The thing with me is, I'm going to try to push and get every ounce of everything they're capable of out of them," Ganther said. "I don't want any of them to get comfortable. I don't want Tavion to think he's made it and get comfortable and that he doesn't want to work. Something like that happens if the next guy up is as productive, I'm not going for it. I want it to be high competition. "When you get to the NFL level, you can't get away with certain things that you can get away with in college. Your bad day could possibly be your last day. I have to train these guys to understand that you have to bring it every day." Left tackle Braeden Daniels and the rest of the offensive line enjoys blocking for Thomas. "Having a guy like that running behind you is awesome," Daniels said. "The defenses fear you before you even play them. It's honestly great. He'll keep working and doing his thing." - Deseret News


rJr/2024 RB Tavion ThomasUtah
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  One year ago, Utah's Cam Rising was still recovering from shoulder surgery and embroiled in a quarterback battle with Baylor transfer Charlie Brewer during fall camp. Brewer won the job but Rising eventually replaced him and led the Utes to the Pac-12 championship and a Rose Bowl appearance. Now, Rising is the Utes' undisputed starter, having earned All-Pac-12 first team honors after completing 204 of 320 passes for 2,493 yards with five interceptions and 20 touchdowns and running 74 times for 499 yards and six TDs in 2021.

That aside, Rising is taking the same approach as he did during last year's fall camp. "It still feels like I have to go out there and prove myself each and every day. It doesn't really matter if it's my job. That just means I'll be getting more (first-team) reps. That's just the way it is," he said. "I've still got to attack it and prove that I'm the best guy for the job each and every day." That's why coach Kyle Whittingham has called Rising an "alpha dog" in the program. "He's one of the hardest workers on the football team, if not the hardest. You can talk about it but you've got to be about it," Whittingham said. "His performance is outstanding, his film study. Just everything. There's no weakness in Cam Rising right now. He's doing everything right coming off an outstanding year. We're fortunate to have him on our team." - Deseret News


rJr/2024 QB Cameron RisingUtah
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  Utah coach Kyle Whittingham does not do hyperbole. When Whittingham began fielding questions, iIt didn't take long for the topic to swing to Cam Rising. The specific question centered around the incumbent fifth-year quarterback's leadership style and why it inspires confidence in his teammates. "He's one of the hardest workers on the football team, if not the hardest," Whittingham said. "You can talk about it, but you have to be about it. His performance is outstanding, his film study, everything. There is no weakness in Cam Rising right now. He's doing everything right coming off an outstanding year, and we're fortunate to have him on our team." - Salt Lake Tribune

rJr/2024 QB Cameron RisingUtah
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  Arguably the best news as Utah looks forward to practice in full pads next week: The secondary, so devoid of depth late last season that running back Micah Bernard started at cornerback in the Rose Bowl, is now healthy. All-Pac-12 cornerback JT Broughton is back from a torn labrum, while Faybian Marks and Zemaiah Vaughn, both lost down the stretch to season-ending injuries, were given full green lights for camp. More good news: Fifth-year senior safety R.J. Hubert remains healthy after missing nearly all of the 2021 season following a freak knee injury on the first play of the spring game. - Salt Lake Tribune

rJr/2024 CB JaTravis BroughtonUtah
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  The University of Utah opened fall camp on Wednesday afternoon, but depending on who you ask, the first practice didn't totally feel like a first practice. The Utes are projected to return 17 starters in 2022. Among them, Cam Rising was a revelation last fall at quarterback, Tavion Thomas rushed for over 1,100 yards and 21 touchdowns last season, both were named All-Pac-12 last season. Up and down the projected two-deep, there are third-year, fourth-year, even fifth-year guys at some positions. Opening camp with that amount of experience presumably means less of a learning curve for the players. "Without a doubt, and it's very evident they spent a lot of time on the field together this summer on their own because today was more like a practice 8 or practice 9 feel as far as the lack of mental mistakes and how smooth things went," 18th-year head coach Kyle Whittingham said. - Salt Lake Tribune

rJr/2024 QB Cameron RisingUtah
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  08/05/22 - Brant KuitherSr/2023, Utah + More +

  Brant Kuithe is listed as a tight end, and has been an All-Pac-12 selection at the position three times - most recently in 2021 before opting to return this fall as a senior. That said, anyone watching Kuithe the last few years knows that pigeonholing him as a tight end isn't really fair given his versatility, a notion Whittingham is on board with. "He's a hybrid, he'll be all over the place," Whittingham said. "To say he is strictly a tight end is a false statement. He's going to be in a lot of different situations, a lot of different locations for us." Kuithe is coming off 50 catches for 611 yards and six touchdowns, not all of it coming at tight end. He can line up out of the slot, he can catch the ball out of the backfield. More than a couple of times, Utah went to Kuithe on a jet sweep. Kuithe is the most dangerous, most versatile weapon Cam Rising has at his disposal this season. - Salt Lake Tribune

rSr/2023 FB Brant KuitheUtah
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  08/03/22 - Tavion ThomasrJr/2024, Utah + More +

  2022 PRESEASON WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF YEAR PLAYER TO WATCH: Tavion Thomas, RB, junior, Utah,... Saw action in 13 games with four starts, leading the team with 204 carries for 1,108 yards (5.4 ypc) and 21 touchdowns in 2021...Named Pac-12 All-Conference first-team...Ranked third in the FBS and led the Pac-12 in rushing touchdowns (21)...In Pac-12 games, he led the league in touchdowns (16) also ranking second in rushing yards per game (105.6). - Utah Football

rJr/2024 RB Tavion ThomasUtah
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  2022 PRESEASON CHUCK BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: Clark Phillips, Utah, Sophomore CB,...Started in all 14 games, recording 63 tackles (1.0 TFL), 15 passes defended (13 PBU, 2 INT) and two forced fumbles in 2021...Led the Pac-12 with 15 passes defended, recording 11 in league play...Tied his career-high in tackles (9) and pass breakups (3) at USC. - Utah Football

rSo/2025 CB Clark Phillips IIIUtah
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  Utah and USC tied with a conference-best six players named to the All-Pac-12 football preseason first team. A total of 13 Utes were included on the All-Pac-12 teams, which was released by the conference Tuesday afternoon. The teams were voted on by media members that cover Pac-12 football. The six Utah players on the first team are running back Tavion Thomas, tight end Brant Kuithe and offensive lineman Braeden Daniels on offense; and cornerback Clark Phillips III, safety Cole Bishop and defensive lineman Van Fillinger on defense. The second team featured quarterback Cam Rising, offensive lineman Sataoa Laumea and defensive lineman Junior Tafuna. - Deseret News

rSo/2025 CB Clark Phillips IIIUtah
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