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This Utah Utes signee just took a big jump in ESPN’s recruiting rankings

SHARE This Utah Utes signee just took a big jump in ESPN’s recruiting rankings
Brighton’s Lander Barton (21) runs through Syracuse’s defense.

Brighton’s Lander Barton (21) runs through Syracuse’s defense during a high school football game, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021 at Corner Canyon High in Draper. Barton, who already signed with Utah football last month, jumped to No. 212 in the ESPN 300 rankings.

Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News

One of the Utah football program’s top signees in its 2022 class just got a major bump in the recruiting rankings.

Brighton High linebacker Lander Barton, a four-star prospect and the younger brother of former Utes Cody Barton and Jackson Barton, jumped to No. 212 in the latest ESPN 300 recruiting rankings for the 2022 class.

He had previously been unranked in ESPN’s top 300.

Lander Barton was one of 20 prospects who signed with Utah last month on early signing day. 

“Cody was not quite as college ready (as Lander) when he was in high school, he was a little undersized. He worked his tail off to put on the weight when he got here,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said at the time. “Lander has got a much bigger frame. He’s a couple inches taller, probably 15 pounds heavier than Cody was coming out of high school. So to take nothing away from Cody, he was a terrific linebacker for us. But we think Lander’s upside is tremendous.”

Barton’s addition to the ESPN 300 rankings gives Utah two players on the list. Nate Johnson, a four-star quarterback prospect out of Clovis, California, ranks No. 92 on ESPN’s list.

Barton recently participated in the All-American Bowl, the nation’s premier high school all-star game, and its festivities and practices that week.

ESPN’s Craig Haubert and Tom Luginbill broke down several players who significantly improved their position in the most recent release of the ESPN 300 rankings.

“Barton’s senior film, supported by an excellent week at the NBC All-American Bowl, thrusted him into the final ESPN 300 rankings. We project he will develop into a versatile front-seven weapon for Utah,” they wrote. 

“He’s a physical linebacker with very good length and range, and he looks just as comfortable dropping into coverage as he does pursuing quarterbacks off the edge. The early enrollee can be an immediate contributor and develop into one of the premier defenders in the Pac-12.”