SALT LAKE CITY — Bradlee Anae’s four-year campaign is almost over. 

The Utah senior has already secured a share of a title he’s sought since joining the Utes in 2016. That was the year teammate Hunter Dimick became the “Mayor of Sack Lake City,” as the program’s all-time leader in career sacks with 29.5. 

Anae matched the mark this season and can take sole possession of the office by getting to the quarterback just once (or even combining on a sack, for that matter) in the Alamo Bowl against Texas.

“I hope he wants it pretty bad,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “I mean it’s a great record to have.”

Anae, a 6-foot-2, 265-pound defensive end from Laie, Hawaii, is a consensus All-American — making the AFCA, FWAA, Sporting News and Walter Camp first teams, as well as the Associated Press third team. He’s just the eighth player in Utah team history to earn such recognition, placing him alongside Luther Elliss (1994), Jordan Gross (2002), Eric Weddle (2006), Louie Sakoda (2008), Tom Hackett (2014-15), Mitch Wishnowsky (2016) and Matt Gay (2017).

“That’s elite company that he’s in and it would be nice for him to go out with a very good game and the record,” Whittingham said. “Nothing against Hunter Dimick because he was a tremendous player for us as well, but Bradlee’s right there with all the opportunity to do something pretty special.”

Anae, who won the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12’s top defensive lineman, has 12.5 sacks and 90 sack yards this season. He was also a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award, a semifinalist for Bednarik and Lombardi accolades, and a Senior Bowl invitee.

“It’s cool, but it’s more for like my family and parents to be proud of and whatnot. I’m never one to be proud of myself,” Anae said. “I like to be humble about it. I think it’s better to be humble anyways.”

Over 46 career games at Utah, Anae been extremely effective — setting school records for tackles for loss yards (244) and sacks yards (209). He’s fourth in tackles for loss with 41. 

The decision Anae and other seniors made to return for one more game is motivated, in part, by a desire to end the season with a 12th victory. The 37-15 loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game obviously hasn’t sat well.

“It was just heartbreaking. But ... move on. Life is that way. You get locked down by life. You just get right back up,” Anae said. “I’m just excited to go finish this off strong and on a better note.”

As for solo possession of Utah’s career sacks record, Anae put it in perspective.

“I couldn’t really care less. But if it comes it comes,” he said. “I’m just trying to make plays, just trying to execute and try to have a good day on the defensive side.”

Even so, Anae acknowledged it would also be nice to get another sack. There was no doubt he was going to get another opportunity and suit up for the Utes one more time.

“I was going to play no matter what. That’s just always been the mentality here,” Anae said. “You start and you finish and that’s pretty much it.”


2019 Alamo Bowl

No. 1 Utah (11-2) vs. Texas (7-5)

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Alamodome, San Antonio

Dec. 31, 5:30 p.m. (MT)


Radio: ESPN 700AM

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