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Football season is still a couple months away, but Utah football has been on the receiving end of some national notoriety recently.

Both The Athletic and ESPN.com highlighted the Utes’ place in the realm of college football.

Every summer, The Athletic’s Max Olson has reranked recruiting classes to determine which programs have maximized their talent pool.

Olson reranked the 2019 recruiting class, and in the reassessment, Utah came in at No. 12 nationally.

“The back-to-back Pac-12 champs found some real gems in this class, including eight starters for their 2022 squad and a total of 10 signees who have earned all-conference recognition,” Olson wrote. “(Quarterback Cam) Rising joined the program after one season at Texas and has proven to be one of the Pac-12’s top passers. (Devaughn) Vele, a former walk-on, emerged as their No. 1 wide receiver last season. They hit on several offensive line signings with (Sataoa) Laumea, Keaton Bills and Bamidele Olaseni, and Tafuna was the Pac-12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year.” 

In the four years since this class was signed, the Utes have gone 34-13, won two Pac-12 championships, played in two Rose Bowls and been ranked in the top 25 at the end of the year three times.  

“This crew has won 10-plus games in three of their four seasons and has a chance to do it again this fall,” Olson wrote.

ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg, meanwhile, produced his annual college football future power rankings.

The Utes are No. 13 this year after being ranked No. 14 a year ago.

“Utah has evolved from Pac-12 contender to Pac-12 champion, winning consecutive league titles under coach Kyle Whittingham,” Rittenberg wrote. “The next step is all about the national stage, especially with the 12-team CFP coming soon.”

In case you missed it

With the 2023 NBA draft in the books, Utah basketball still maintains an impressive distinction.

The Utes are tied for third among college programs for the most all-time No. 1 picks with Billy McGill (1962) and Andrew Bogut (2005). The program is tied with North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, UNLV, LSU, Georgetown, Cincinnati, Purdue, Kansas State, West Virginia, UTEP and Duquesne.

Only two schools have more No. 1 draft picks than Utah — Duke (five) and Kentucky (three).

From the archives

Related
Utah Athletics mourns loss of longtime trainer
Utah football gets commitment from 2-way athlete Hunter Andrews of Texas
‘Great things to come’: Utah working for a Pac-12 three-peat — and more

Extra points

  • A prominent SEC figure predicts Pac-12’s demise isn’t far away (Deseret News)
  • Stewart Mandel: ‘BYU should be in the Pac-12’ (Deseret News)
  • In its final season in the Pac-12, can USC get past Utah roadblock? (Deseret News)
  • Pac-12 previews: Can Colorado’s ‘Coach Prime’ revive a moribund program? (Deseret News)
  • Georgia Tech transfer guard Deivon Smith lands with the Utah Runnin’ Utes (Deseret News)

Fanalyst

Always nice to have a little sunshine come down on the hill. You can’t debate solid results for the Utes program and the way coach Whit and his coaches have developed talented young men. But there is still unfinished business for this program and coach Whit. Surmounting the next summit will be challenging but Utah football is fully focused on going there. Kind of surprised though that the article ended with a shout-out to Utah’s defense since so much of the hype surrounding this team has been fixed on the offense. Defense has always been coach Whit’s calling card, and yes, Utah has borne out the maxim, championships are won by defense, but it has been the emergence of the Utes’s offense that has defined them the last few years. Just happy to hear the buzz, but am fully cognizant of the fact that games have to be played ... and the schedule is not very friendly. Just get us to Vegas, baby, and everything else will fall into place! Next team up ... Florida!!! Go Utes!!!

— stathis

Utah football success is a metaphor for the overachieving state of Utah.

The little engine that could.

A life of vision, hard work, belief, commitment and love.

I’m a BYU fan and I believe that Utah football is something of which we can all be proud.

— Crazy in California

Up next

July 21 | Pac-12 football media day | @Las Vegas, Nevada | Pac-12 Network