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Who was the defensive MVP for the Utah football team?

NCAA Football: Heart of Dallas Bowl-Utah vs West Virginia Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

This is one I’ve been thinking about for sometime, and I’ve bounced around from name to name, but I settled on someone that maybe not everyone would agree with. My first thoughts went to the defensive line, as I’m sure most people will. Lowell Lotulelei I really wanted to pick at first, but I feel like he was pretty quiet this season, and the injuries around him didn’t help. Same with Mokofisi, after he had a couple of monster games, things were good the rest of the season, but I just wanted more. The d-line under performed this year.

Moving onto the backers, kind of similar situation as the d-line, they were good, but the injuries and having guys in and out of the lineups really made it hard to settle on a single name in that group. That naturally moved me on to the secondary this season, who was about as good as I can remember the Utah secondary being, especially with all of the youth. I think more credit should be given to Sharrieff Shah and Morgan Scalley on the back end, especially Shah. Shah has taken a lot of heat over the years, but I think his recruiting and development over the past couple of seasons have been impressive, especially this young group he has now. That leads me to my defensive MVP pick, who was solid all season long, and capped everything off with a bowl game MVP — Julian Blackmon. His stats were solid, to go along with four interceptions, 48 total tackles, and 10 passess defended. He also played all 13 games, which for this unit was a big deal this season. Casey Hughes had a nice season but missed the last couple of games, as did freshman Jaylon Johnson. The safeties behind Blackmon were rotating a lot too, with injury and the confusing targeting penalties. Blackmon was the rock in the secondary, and arguably the most consistent defensive player on the roster, and as a sophomore, that’s very impressive. He was a player this past season you knew wouldn’t get beat often, because let’s be real, most DBs get beat at least some of the time, and he was great. He was also in position for other picks, but couldn’t quite come down with them. I said multiple times throughout the season that this may have been one of the best tackling group of corners that we have ever seen at Utah, and Blackmon was a part of that. When you have reliable corners, especially in the Pac-12, you can breath a lot easier.

So that’s who my defensive MVP is, who would you pick?