Utah Football season saw quite a number of contributions from incoming freshman and transfers in 2014. Players that stood out were guys like, Tevin Carter, Kaelin Clay, and Devontae Booker. Many could agree that had those three qualified in 2013, that season would have been completely different. One can see why Utah held up their end of the bargain and waited for those three to arrive.
Others contributed like Gionni Paul, who had four interceptions at linebacker. Marcus Williams, a true freshman that took over at safety when Carter went down with a season ending injury. Andre Godfrey, who came in for an injured Carter, and his sack of Brett Hundley was nearly at safety at UCLA. All of these players were able to add valuable contributions last season. With a new crop of incoming freshman and transfers, it makes one wonder, who may we see being key contributors right away in 2015? Of the transfers some appear to be pretty obvious, and some maybe not.
Kylie Fitts was a highly touted defensive end coming out of high school, and narrowed his choices to UCLA, Notre Dame, and Utah. He picked UCLA, but after one season with the Bruins, he decided to transfer to Utah. He may not start, but knowing how Utah rotates their defensive line, #11 should see plenty of action for the Utes.
Cory Butler comes to Utah from LA Harbor, which the same school that produced John White IV. Bulter could play either WR or DB, but he will start fall camp at the WR position. Kyle Fulks, a WR/DB out of Katy, TX and Blinn College will be also penciled in at WR going into camp. Both could supply the speed vacated by Kaelin Clay and Dres Anderson. Fulks, if the Texas high school track record books are any indication, could provide the break away deep threat needed to soften up the box to help Booker's running attack.
Joe Williams, from Allentown, PA and ASA College, will most likely be Booker's backup. Williams was clocked at 4.38 in the 40 yard dash by the Utah coaches, which was the second best behind Delshawn McClellon. He'll most likely make the most of his few touches this season, but look for him to be the No 1 RB next season.
With so many returning starters and backups from 2014, it doesn't seem like we will see a lot of incoming freshman making an impact in 2015, but that doesn't mean the potential is there. Most will probably contribute on special teams. There are a few that may work their way on the field.
One likely candidate actually enrolled for spring football. Tyrone Smith was a 2013 high school graduate, and used 2014 to work on academics. The 6-4 freshman from Fresno, CA impressed in spring, and with unproven depth at WR gives him the opportunity to make a move. Another freshman WR that could work his way into the rotation is George Wilson. At 6-2 he is another big body that was a two way player at Tustin HS in Tustin, CA. These are a couple players that have the physical characteristics of Pac 12 receivers.
Another player that may not be seen as a newcomer, but some may say was Kyle Whittingham's best get in the off season, is Chase Hansen. Hansen a, returned missionary, was greeted at the airport when he arrived home, as various rumors during his two years away had him deciding to go elsewhere upon his return. Hansen impressed in spring ball, and coach Whittingham has hinted that Hansen may see the field for situational plays in 2015.
One of the most dynamic high school quarterbacks in the state of Utah last year was Timpview's Britain Covey. Covey was asked to enroll and play before leaving on a mission, either because he will see action at WR or KR this season, or to get the Riley Nelson rule in effect, so other schools won't be able to recruit him while he is away for two years. His highlight videos are jaw-dropping, and his break away speed is unbelievable. If he can add weight to his slight frame, he could be a tremendous slot receiver in years to come.
Over the next few weeks as it gets closer to the beginning of the season, history shows the cream will rise to the top. The players that we'll be seeing the field, will begin work their way up the depth chart. Other players not mentioned above may be some of those that impress the coaches, and some that were mentioned not. It will be exciting which newcomers will be able to contribute in 2015.