In 99 days, Utah will find themselves in a situation they’ve never been in before; defending PAC-12 champs. Considering Utah has made its mark in the Conference of Champions by playing a notably tough brand of defense, maybe defending the throne will be second nature. Perhaps the expectations will be too much to live up to. Hell, maybe USC really is back and Utah better get used to settling for second. That will all start to unfold 99 days from now, but in the meantime, let's take a look back at 99 of the best players of the PAC-12 era, highlighting one player who wore the corresponding jersey number based on the days from kickoff.
Without further adieu, #99
Hailing out of the hills of Herriman High, Leki Fotu committed to the Utes in September of 2015, passing on high-profile offers including USC and Oklahoma State. Seeing action in four games as a true freshman, Fotu began his playing career at defensive end before switching to defensive tackle, eventually becoming a starter at that position in 2018. Fotu finished his junior season with 5.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, and 33 total tackles, earning himself first team all-PAC 12 honors, a feat he would repeat his senior season upon recording nine tackles for loss and 29 total tackles among a staked defensive front.
Fotu was eventually drafted by the Arizona Cardinals with the 114 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. The former Ute has since settled into a consistent back-up roll with the Cardinals. He started 3 games for Arizona in 2021, recording 19 tackles and one forced fumble in his biggest season to date.