Utah landed one of the top junior college players in Dodge City Community College four-star safety/outside linebacker Marquise Blair. Per the 247Sports Composite, Blair is ranked the No. 1 JUCO outside linebacker. He was a NJCAA first-team All-American as a sophomore.
Blair is a great get for Utah. He also held offers from Iowa State, Louisville, Michigan State, Mississippi State, and Nebraska among others. He originally committed to Syracuse out of high school before heading to junior college.
Blair will likely play a role similar to Chase Hansen at Utah where he is a safety that is often in the box. Blair, who is 6’ 3”, 195 pounds, looks quite similar to Hansen in his film. He is quick off the edge with great instincts. Utah has had many players play this role including Brian Blechen and Tevin Carter recently. What I also like about this pickup is the versatility Blair adds to the Utah defense. Both he and Hansen can be moved around the defense, so Utah has the flexibility to put one in the box and one at safety. With the loss of three all-conference linebackers and multiple injuries to starters, linebacker was the weakness of the Utah defense in 2016. In 2017, the linebacker corps will be a strength with all of last season’s starters back and additions like Blair.