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‘Best to wear it’: Top Utes to wear Nos. 60-79 includes a No. 8 overall NFL pick and multiple pro-caliber linemen

SHARE ‘Best to wear it’: Top Utes to wear Nos. 60-79 includes a No. 8 overall NFL pick and multiple pro-caliber linemen
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Carolina Panthers’ Jordan Gross (69) is shown during the team’s NFL football training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009. Gross, who excelled at Utah, was the No. 8 overall pick by Carolina in the 2003 NFL draft and was a three-time Pro Bowler in his 11-year NFL career.

Chuck Burton, Associated Press

Editor’s note: Fourth in a series that pegs the best player to don every jersey number in Utah football history.

SALT LAKE CITY — The fourth installment of Utah football’s noteworthy numbers covers 60-79. The grouping includes several highly drafted ex-Utes who excelled in the trenches. 

No. 60: Mark Blosch, linebacker

Holds the school record with 495 career tackles. The former West High star also tallied eight sacks, six tackles for loss, five pass breakups, three interceptions and two forced fumbles from 1981-84.

Also considered: Siaosi Aiono, Jack Johnson, Charles Kalani.

No. 61: Peter Owens, nose guard

Earned first-team All-WAC honors as as senior in 1984. Capped his Utah career with 181 tackles and 13 sacks.

No. 62: Patrick Greene, snapper

Handled every snap in Utah’s kicking game from 2009-12. The workload consisted of 516 plays and included field goals, PATs and punts.

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San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Barry Sims before the start of an NFL football game between the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, in St. Louis.

Associated Press

No. 63: Barry Sims, offensive lineman

Had a lengthy NFL career despite being undrafted in 1999. Played in Europe before signing with the Raiders and later the 49ers. Was an All-WAC selection for Utah.

Also considered: Kyle Gunther, Garrett Smith.

No. 64: Dean Miraldi, guard

Drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1981. Later played for the Broncos and Raiders.Received first-team All-WAC accolades following his senior year with the Utes.

Also considered: Lynn Stiles.

No. 65: Manny Fernandez, defensive tackle

Undrafted out of Utah, Fernandez signed with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. He played from 1968-75 and was named to a pair of Pro Bowls and was part of two Super Bowl championship teams.

Also considered: Chester Franklin, Dustin Hensel, Wayne Jones.

No. 66: Robert Conley, guard

Garnered first-team All-Mountain West honors in 2008 and second-team recognition in 2007. Was a four-year starter at right guard and once played in 42 straight games.

No. 67: Tom Lovat, guard

Lovat holds the distinction of being a former player (guard and linebacker), assistant coach and head coach (1974-76) for the Utes. He also held numerous other posts — as an assistant — in the collegiate and professional ranks.

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Utah offensive lineman Zane Beadles (68) as the University of Utah defeats the Air Force Academy 23-16 in overtime as they play MWC football Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

No. 68: Zane Beadles, offensive lineman

Followed an All-America career with the Utes (2009, FWAA first team) with a lengthy pro career. Drafted in the second round by the Denver Broncos, Beadles also played for the Jaguars, 49ers and Falcons before retiring after the 2018 season. Named to the Pro Bowl in 2012.

Also considered: Norm Chow, J.J. Dielman, Jim Durrant, Daryl Haley, Chris Kemoeatu, Frank Nelson, Bill Powers, Ray Westort.

No. 69: Jordan Gross, offensive lineman

A consensus All-American in 2002, Gross was the No. 8 overall pick in the ensuing NFL draft. Spent his entire career with the Carolina Panthers, making the Pro Bowl three times and eventually being inducted into the franchise’s Hall of Honor.

Also considered: Jim Dublinski, Tony Polychronis.

No. 70: Tony Bergstrom, offensive lineman

Started at right tackle for three years, earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a senior in 2011. Drafted in the third round by the Raiders, Bergstrom also spent time with the Texans, Cardinals, Ravens and Redskins during his NFL career.

Also considered: Jackson Barton, Danny Davis, Bob Peterson.

No. 71: Mel Carpenter, defensive tackle

Made his mark on the field as a first-team All-WAC selection in 1964 on a Utah squad that defeated West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl. Carpenter was also a finalist for the Draddy Trophy, presented each year to a player excelling in academics, athletics, citizenship and leadership.

Also considered: Larry Amizich.

No. 72: Caleb Schlauderaff, offensive lineman

Left guard made 49 consecutive starts for Utah from 2007-10. Was named an All-American by four different outlets as a senior. Schlauderaff went to the Packers in the NFL draft and later played for the New York Jets. 

Also considered: Garret Bolles, Cannon Parkinson, Kevin Reach, John Stipech.

No. 73: Gordon Jolley, offensive lineman

All-WAC tackle in 1970 went on to have a career in the NFL. Played for the Detroit Lions from 1971-75 before securing a spot on the inaugural Seattle Seahawks squad.

Also considered: Jeff Lyall, Jeremiah Poutasi.

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Salesi Uhatafe takes part in a football scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium Saturday, April 12, 2014, in Salt Lake City.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

No. 74: Salesi Uhatafe, guard

Four-year starter was a second-team All-Pac-12 honoree in 2017. Appeared in 52 games at Utah and was on the field for more than 2,700 snaps during his career with the Utes.

Also considered: Sam Brenner, Anthony Brown, Dave Cullity, Bob Fratto.

No. 75: John Cullen, tackle

Signed with Utah as the top-rated junior college offensive lineman. Although he switched to No. 77 as a senior, Cullen wore No. 75 in his first season with the Utes. Started in 24 games over 2010 and 2011 and graduated as a second-team All-Pac-12 selection. 

No. 76: Carlton Walker, guard

Led Utah’s offensive line in 1984 by netting All-America honors from the FWAA (first team) and Associated Press (second team).

Also considered: Jack Campbell.

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Miami quarterback John Stofa fumbles the football as he’s tackled by Denver tackle Dave Costa (63) and linebacker Pete Duranko (55), in the first quarter of an American Football League game at Miami, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 17, 1967. Costa was an All-American at Utah.

Associated Press

No. 77: Dave Costa, tackle

After an All-America and All-WAC campaign in 1962, Costa was drafted by the AFL’s Raiders and NFL’s Rams. Went on to be named an AFL All-Star four times. Also saw pro action with the Bills, Broncos and Chargers.

Also considered: Jim Dublinski, Greg Kent, Darrin Paulo, Zane Taylor.

No. 78: Tavo Tupola, tackle

Made an impact early and often. A four-year starter, Tupola received All-Mountain West accolades twice — first team in 2006 and second team in 2005. 

Also considered: Norm McBride

No. 79: Jesse Boone, center

The starter for Utah’s BCS-busting, Fiesta Bowl championship team. Had a career-high 13 knockdowns in the victory over Pittsburgh. Earned All-Mountain West recognition as a junior (2004, second team) and as a senior (2005, first team).

Also considered: Jordan Agasiva, Evert Jones, Ken Petersen, Ron Rydalch.