We are getting ready to start the 8th season in the Pac-12 for the Utes, and we keep hearing about how this may be the most talented Utah team yet. As I’ve heard that, I’ve bounced around in my head if I was to name an “All-Utah” team in the Pac-12 era, who would be on that team? Well, I dove into that, and after some thought here’s who I have put on the All Utah team during the Pac-12 era... with one qualification, or two, or more: I reserve the right to change this around at anytime and make up my own rules.
Here we go:
Ok, I couldn’t pick just one QB, so I picked basically a 1A and 1B to this, or a two deep even. I really wanted to lean towards Troy as the lone pick, because I think his skill level as a thrower is higher than Travis’. With that said, Travis won so many games at Utah, and so many big ones (USC, Washington, Oregon, Michigan, etc). It did feel like the team won in during those years in spite of the offense, but he was at the helm. Troy and Travis were polar opposites in some ways, one of which was their leadership style.
Troy was vocal and arguably the alpha on the team, while Travis was quieter and more reserved. In his one full season as a starter, his 9 wins created a very solid resume, and some will always wonder what would have happened if he would have had that second full season as QB1.
Again, I’m cheating a bit here too going with three backs. If I had to drop one, it’d probably be the Wolf Man, but I love him so I threw him on the list. Booker was so dominate during his time on campus, that he was arguably the best running back in the nation when he was playing. His running style was shifty yet powerful, to compliment a great set of hands out of the backfield.
Joe Williams is almost a legend based of what he did the last half of the 2016 season, just running wild after retiring after the first 1⁄3 of the season. He is the ultimate perseverance story, due to what he battled with during that season. His speed was insane, just go back and watch the UCLA highlights from that season. He was the ultimate home run back, and he’s so easy to cheer for.
John White was like a smaller Booker. He was getting the ball and running it down your throat and there was nothing you could do about it. He was the only option on the 2011 and 2012 teams at time and would just wear people down, and considering his size it was extremely impressive. He carried the Utes into the Pac-12 era.
The wide receiving group is been a hard one for Utah to figure out since joining the Pac-12. With that said, there have been some guys they could lean on at times.
Dres Anderson was the first home run threat for the Utes in the Pac-12, and the first since David Reed in 2009. His speed was blazing and teams had to put a couple of guys on him. Due to his speed, he was a threat to take it to the house at anytime, but sometimes he’d forget the ball and drops would haunt him. He is the only 1000 yard receiver for Utah since they joined the league.
Darren Carrington was a huge addition to the 2017 team, and almost broke the 1000 yard mark, but some injuries slowed him down. Carrington would catch virtually everything that was thrown his way with those massive hands he has. He was a great safety blanket for Tyler Huntley in his first year starting, and gave the Utah offense a dimension they haven’t really had since joining the Pac-12. Even if he wasn’t open, he’d come down with the ball, pretty much making him always open.
Tim Patrick started out that 2016 season on fire, and torched USC almost by himself. He’s probably the closest thing the Utes have had to Carrington, because of his size and great hands. I’m not sure if the offensive play calling did TP much favors, but when healthy he was a beast for the Utes.
Britain Covey is the only current player that I’m going to put on this list, and that’s just because that 2015 season was bonker by him. He made some elite DBs look silly at times, and he was almost unguardable coming out of the slot. This little skinny, short dude burst on the scene and turned into one of Utah’s star offensive players almost right away, and that was with Booker on the team. His ability to avoid square tackles, evade defenders and find openings show an incredible play making instinct that is only found in the best players out there.
Kenneth Scott is one of my all time favorites. The dude gave everything for the program, and battled through constant injuries to stay on the field. He was a reliable pass catcher, and whenever Utah needed to move the chains K-Scott was there. His hands were great, but the biggest thing he may have brought to the team was his great run blocking ability. When you have the likes of Booker on your team, you need some WRs that can block. I just wish we could have gotten a career with K-Scott that wasn’t slowed by injury.
Utah’s had some monsters up front, but these five really jumped out to me, and each one of them have had a good NFL career.
Isaac Asiata is a Utah Man through and through. Ever since his days in high school when he committed, there was no doubt which school he was going to play at. He was a staple in the lineup for three seasons, and was about as reliable as you can ask a lineman to be. He was a leader and continues to rep the U every day with the Dolphins.
Garret Boles was one of the best recruits Utah has ever had, and it was obvious why the moment he strapped them up. He was a mauler while wearing red, so much so he’d draw the occasional personal foul. His combination of speed and size were so impressive and just jumped off the field.
Tony Bergstrom helped to lead Utah in the Pac-12 and was named 1st team all conference that opening season. He was the leader of that offensive line, and helped give John White the lanes he needed. Having a guy like Bergstrom lead the charge from the MWC to the Pac-12 really did help things out for the Utes, even when things were shaking at the QB spot.
JJ Dielman was like Asiata is so many ways. A three year starter and was versatile. He was a tackle for most of his career before moving to center during his injury shortened senior season. This big guy helped life Utah off the mat after a couple of losing seasons, and he’s also bounced around the league and has had a solid career.
Jeremiah Poutasi was a big recruit for the Utes and while he did struggle learning the position of left tackle at times, his length and agility really helped him stand out from so many guys. He was maybe a poor man’s Boles, whereas he wasn’t as polished, but he had some similar attributes. I think Poutasi should have stayed an extra season, but when you’re a second round draft pick it’s hard to convince someone to come back.
The tight end role at Utah really hasn’t been used, but Jake was an exception. He was a great weapon for the Utes and really came on strong his junior season. He was a great safety blanket, and arguably one of the most versatile playmakers the Utes have had in a while. He was a stud, and another one I would have liked to see stay longer.
That’s my offensive list, what are your thoughts?
I’ll come back with my defensive one soon.