There was certainly a sense of disappointment within the Ute fan base yesterday as The Runnin’ Utes watched their top prospect, Collin Chandler, sign with BYU. That changed with a simple Instagram post.
Lander Barton (6’4”, 215 lbs), Brighton High’s 4-star stud linebacker confirmed his commitment to The University of Utah’s 2022 class when his sister, Dani Drews (a star athlete herself on Utah’s 16th ranked volleyball team) cleverly posted his commitment on her personal Instagram page.
The second highest-rated recruit out of the state of Utah according to 247Sports, Barton demonstrates strong tackling, wrapping up the opposition to finish plays, with the ability to blow past blockers and apply pressure on the quarterback. His size and long arms make him a prototypical linebacker that will undoubtedly slot into Kyle Whittingham’s defense with ease. He joins a recruiting class currently ranked 78th nationally and sits just behind QB commit, Nate Johnson in overall rating.
Barton held offers from over a dozen programs, including the likes of Michigan, Texas, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Virginia, Northwestern, and eight other PAC-12 schools, however considering his family’s history with the Utes, it was hard to imagine the youngest Barton landing anywhere but the U. Beyond Dani, his father Paul was a dual-sport athlete in football and baseball, and his mother Mikki was a star basketball and volleyball player during her time on the hill. Both his brothers, Jackson and Cody were drafted to the NFL after their collegiate careers with Utah came to an end, and are currently on NFL rosters, with Jackson signing with the Las Vegas Raiders on September 21st of this year, his fourth stop in the NFL, while Cody is the starting linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks in his third season.