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Utah hires former Ohio State QB coach Corey Dennis

Here’s what this former Buckeyes coach brings to Kyle Whittingham’s staff

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Utah players stretch as they prepare to play USC at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.

Utah players stretch as they prepare to play USC at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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Utah has a new face on staff ahead of spring football opening up.

Former Ohio State quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis has joined Kyle Whittingham’s staff ahead of the 2024 season, Utah’s first in the Big 12 Conference.

Dennis arrives at Utah after three years as the Buckeyes quarterbacks coach. He was on staff at OSU since 2015, working his way from offensive intern to graduate assistant to senior quality control before taking the quarterbacks coach reins in 2020.

Dennis, the son-in-law of former Utah coach Urban Meyer, coached some great quarterbacks during his three-year stint in Columbus, including Justin Fields and CJ Stroud.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day hired Bill O’Brien to be the school’s new offensive coordinator after Day announced that he would be giving up offensive coordinator duties. O’Brien will be both the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, replacing Dennis as the QB coach, and Dennis decided to move on to a different program after the change.

Interestingly enough, since O’Brien took the job in Columbus on Jan. 19, things have changed. O’Brien is reportedly the lead candidate for the open Boston College head coaching job.

Dennis began his new job at Utah Tuesday and started getting settled in about a month before spring practice starts, though players are in the facility for winter conditioning.

Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig will still be the quarterbacks coach, but Dennis will have a role in the offense. Analysts break down film and help with game plans and scouting, among other duties. The NCAA, however, rules disallow analysts to directly coach or instruct players or recruit.

Utah announces spring captains and leadership committee

Spring football is just around the corner, and the Utes have named their captains and leadership council for the spring.

Quarterback Cam Rising, defensive lineman Junior Tafuna, tight end Brant Kuithe and linebacker Karene Reid are the 2024 spring captains and were also named to the leadership council.

The other players named to the spring leadership council were linebacker Lander Barton, defensive end Connor O’Toole, wide receiver Money Parks, running back Micah Bernard, linebacker Levani Damuni, cornerback Zemaiah Vaughn, tight end Miki Suguturaga and defensive lineman Keanu Tanuvasa.

National signing day

Wednesday’s national signing day came and went without much noise from Utah. The Utes locked up all of their 2024 high school and junior college class during early signing day on Dec 20. Utah added four transfers after the early signing day period, picking up UTEP defensive end Kanious Vaughn, Michigan cornerback Cameron Calhoun, Stanford safety Alaka’i Gilman and USC wide receiver Dorian Singer.

On 247Sports, Utah’s overall class ranking, with transfers included, is No. 5 in the Big 12. Its average player rating ranks No. 3 in the Big 12 and Utah’s average transfer player rating is No. 1 in the Utes’ new conference.

With only high school and juco players counted, Utah’s overall class ranking is No. 12 in the Big 12 due to a smaller class size, while the average recruit ranking bumps the Utes up to No. 5.

In case you missed it

Former Utah safety Cole Bishop and offensive lineman Sataoa Laumea both had good showings in last Saturday’s Senior Bowl, with safety two-way player Sione Vaki practicing throughout the week but opting not to play in the all-star showcase.

From the archives

Extra points

  • Is Utah a second-half team at home? The latest evidence (Deseret News)
  • Utah is a top-4 team through a month. Is there another level Red Rocks can reach? How do they get there? (Deseret News)
  • Utah football season ticket prices are increasing in 2024 (Deseret News)

Up next

  • Feb. 8 | 6 p.m. | Men’s basketball | Arizona | @ Salt Lake City
  • Feb. 9 | 7 p.m. | Women’s basketball | Oregon State | @ Salt Lake City
  • Feb. 10 | 1 p.m. | Gymnastics | Washington | @ Seattle
  • Feb. 10 | 6 p.m. | Men’s basketball | Arizona State | @ Salt Lake City
  • Feb. 11 | Noon | Women’s basketball | Oregon | @ Salt Lake City

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