Utes positions breakdown — LB: Sunia Tauteoli, Kavika Luafatasaga and Cody Barton look for breakout seasons

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  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    June 20, 2017 7:21 a.m.

    As we saw last year when backup DL Stevie Tu'ikovolatu transferred to USC and was a star, Utah's defensive talent is premier.

    The corners will be tested, but that position is about technique and pure athleticism. Incoming freshman Jav Guidry just ran a 10.13 100m in winning the California 100m championship, after winning the same thing in Texas, last year. (2nd place ran a 10.33... about 8-9 feet behind.)

    The OL lost four to the NFL draft, but we were 8-9 deep last year, and this year the OL will have a different primary assignment - keep heat off the QB for 3 seconds.

    The WRs will be asked to make the biggest jump.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    June 19, 2017 7:02 p.m.

    Utah's D has been stellar ever since Whitt joined them. The Big Q will be offense, especially at QB.

  • Jello is Good ,
    June 19, 2017 5:04 p.m.

    @Navy

    Solid post with no shade. Refreshing.

    I lean towards "Who am I Sir" in that Utah as always will have a good defense. But there are a lot of uncertainties in personnel and coaching on the offensive side. That coupled with an extremely tough schedule, many on the road, and 5 to 6 wins seems to be what the folks in Vegas are predicting.

    Good luck Utes.

  • cjd1 Draper, UT
    June 19, 2017 4:37 p.m.

    Utah does not rebuild, they reload! The last two years the Utes have had their best recruiting classes.

  • CO Ute PARKER, CO
    June 19, 2017 4:23 p.m.

    I think the Utes will be very strong on the defensive line.
    Will be solid at LB.
    Will be solid at Safety.
    Unknown is the rest of the defensive backs - lost a lot of experience here be have arguably more athletic skill at corner and nickel than last year. If those kids step up the defense will be very good. Would expect to see some of the highly ranked recruits get a shot a corner this year.

  • MendonMick Mendon, UT
    June 19, 2017 2:32 p.m.

    Trolling all the way from Idaho. Not much going on today?

  • KimmyP Grantsville, UT
    June 19, 2017 1:17 p.m.

    So funny to see 65powderpuff weighing in with his thoughts regarding his favorite team.

    But, we all know who is the king of National Championship hype, don't we.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    June 19, 2017 12:14 p.m.

    Let me guess - another championship season. Like we've never heard that before.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    June 19, 2017 11:22 a.m.

    Who am I sir?:

    "The generally regarded best recruiting class in Utah history."

    True, but with missions and/or redshirts, we'll most likely see very few of our new recruits taking the field for us in 2017.

    I personally feel that while Luafatasaga played well by season's end last year, he didn't quite live up to his recruiting hype. I'm hoping for a mulligan from him come Fall.

    I'm not too worried about our LB corps, but our DBs took quite a hit with graduation and/or the last Draft, so they'll most likely be our Achilles Heel in 2017. Or at least on the Defensive side of the ball anyway. Our BIG area for concern, will obviously be our O-Line.

    At least we'll be solid in the Offensive Backfield though.

    Go Utes!

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2017 10:48 a.m.

    Who knows?
    On one hand:
    Vegas odds are 6.5 wins for Utah this year. (At one betting site it was 5.5 wins!) It appears most pre-season experts have Utah 4th in the PAC-12 Southern Division. Perhaps the most difficult PAC-12 Conference schedule. Some 20 players drafted or signed to free agency contract means the loss of considerable talent. Four offensive linemen drafted! A new offensive coordinator (what's new?) with a new offensive scheme! What did I leave out?

    On the other hand:
    As this article said, "Utah's defense is already solid, and if the linebackers can step up, the Utes' already scary defense could be absolutely terrifying." And a JC linebacker, Blair, not mentioned. The generally regarded best recruiting class in Utah history. Highly regarded, experienced, and depth at quarterback, running back, tight ends, and receivers. And if there is improvement in offensive performance this year could rival any other.

    The answer will be from the field beginning in some 75 days. I just can't wait!

  • CentralcoastUte San luis obispo , CA
    June 19, 2017 10:43 a.m.

    @Breave Sir Robin,

    The first three games on Utah's schedule will be the only games with immobile quarterbacks. Hopefully the weak pre-season schedule will be enough for the Utes to get ready for for real football.

    I expect Luafatasaga to have a great year. Division 1 football seemed to click for him at the end of last season. I also think Tauteoli and Barton to do well this year. Thompson and the kid from Weber are also intriguing and I hope to see them get some significant reps this year.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 19, 2017 9:53 a.m.

    This defense is going to be scary good. With these LB's, the couple of immobile quarterbacks we face this year are going to get broken.