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Year after year, the Utes put together one of the nation’s top defenses and they’ve established a reputation for putting players into the NFL.
Brandon Judd of the Deseret News wrote about coach Kyle Whittingham’s appearance on a recent episode of the 2 for 1 Drafts podcast, where Whittingham discussed the Utes’ defensive success, particularly in the secondary, and how that’s translated to success in the NFL draft.
Whittingham credited assistants defensive coordinator/safeties coach Morgan Scalley and cornerbacks coach Sharrieff Shah for finding the right type of athletes in the recruiting process.
“Those guys do a good job, first of all, of getting the right talent in the program,” Whittingham said during the podcast. “That’s the first order of business, doing your evaluations and making sure we recruit the right type of people.”
When the right recruits arrive on campus, Scalley and Shah work hard to develop them.
“Once they get here, those two coaches do a great job of developing that talent and getting the most out of every player that we have in the secondary,” Whittingham said.
14: Number of secondary players selected in the NFL rraft during the Kyle Whittingham era.
25: Jersey number to be worn this season by Rollie Worster, who transferred from Utah State to Utah.
26.1: Points per game averaged by new Ute guard Gabe Madsen during his senior season of high school in Minnesota.
From the archives
- Gabe Madsen’s decision to transfer to Utah (Deseret News)
- MyKayla Skinner to retire after Olympics (Deseret News)
- What’s the latest on former Ute Parker Van Dyke? (Deseret News)
- Update on Utah’s 2022 recruiting class (Deseret News)
- Why Rollie Worster transferred from USU to Utah (Deseret News)
Comments from Deseret News readers
Pick Six U
Most consecutive seasons with a Pick Six
17 - Utah
13 - Iowa
10 - Louisiana Tech
9 - Ohio State
8 - West Virginia
7 - App State, Miami OH, Western Kentucky
6 - Alabama
5 - Cincinnati, Colorado St, Missouri.
What’s made Utah so successful at turning out secondary talent for the NFL?
1. They start with good raw materials.
2. The coaches focus on technique, fundamentals and physical/mental development.
3. The players have the opportunity to get noticed by proving themselves against top competition.
Sept. 2 | TBD | Football | vs. Weber State | @Salt Lake City