The Utah football program has announced the signing of Dodge City (Kansas) Dodge City Community College four-star outside linebacker/safety Marquise Blair. Utah landed the highly-rated 6’ 3”, 195 pound junior college prospect over schools like Iowa State, Louisville, Michigan State, Mississippi State, and Nebraska among others. Blair, who is originally from Ohio, signed with Syracuse out of high school before heading to junior college. He committed to Utah in January.
Blair reminds me a lot of current Utah football player Chase Hansen. Blair, the top rated junior college outside linebacker according to the 247Sports Composite, can play a similar role in the Utah defense as Hansen, an in-the-box safety. The Utah defense has often had players fill this role, including Hansen, Tevin Carter, and Brian Blechen. Blair brings versatility to the Utah defense because of his hybrid ability. A NJCAA All-American, Blair is a terror off the edge for opposing offenses. He is an instinctual player and always seems to be around the football.
After graduating all three starting linebackers after the 2015 season, the Utah football team had to rebuild at linebacker in 2016. Injuries and inexperience led to some struggles at the position at times during 2016. However, linebacker looks to be a strength in 2017 with everyone back, and the addition of talented players like Blair.