I can’t remember ever being that nervous going into a game. All I’ve ever wanted since I was young was to play for Utah. I was just hoping they’d notice me because I knew it was my last chance to make an impression. Everything was on the line. —Cody Barton, on attending Utah’s Elite Prospects Camp
SANDY — Utah’s newest football commitment, Cody Barton (Brighton), has experienced the nerves plenty of times before football games. Nothing, however, was quite like what he experienced prior to attending Utah’s Elite Prospects Camp back on June 18.
The 6-foot-2, 210 pound safety had trouble being noticed as a legitimate prospect last season due to injury, making this summer’s camp circuit critical in catching the notice of Ute coaches. Fortunately for Barton, he rose to the challenge — turning heads at the Mountain West Elite camps leading up to his last summer audition on Wednesday.
“I can’t remember ever being that nervous going into a game,” Barton said of attending Utah’s final day of camp. “All I’ve ever wanted since I was young was to play for Utah. I was just hoping they’d notice me because I knew it was my last chance to make an impression. Everything was on the line.”
Barton evidently impressed enough during the camp to be approached by Coach Kyle Whittingham at the conclusion and asked to meet in the coach’s office.
“That’s when I knew it was going to happen,” Barton said. “I can’t even tell you how that felt when he came up to tell me that. I mean, you pretty much know what’s going to happen if you meet with coaches in their offices after camp.”
Sure enough Whittingham offered Barton a scholarship which he accepted on the spot.
“I didn’t have to think about it even for a second,” Barton said. “I wanted it so bad — it’s really the only offer I’ve ever wanted. To play for my dream school, with my brother and in the Pac-12. It’s just what I’ve wanted for so long.”
Barton’s older brother, Jackson Barton, signed with Utah as part of the 2014 class as a top offensive line prospect. Jackson observed his younger brother throughout camps and was hoping as much as Cody that an offer would be coming.
“It was tough for me because I didn’t really want to say much to coaches about my brother, being a freshman and all, but I think they knew,” Jackson said. “Fortunately he’s just good and good enough to get an offer on his own and that’s what makes it so great for us and our family.”
Jackson and Cody grew up in a strong Utah home having parents who both played for and attended the U. Continuing in the tradition of both mom and dad is something both wanted dearly ever since they can remember.
“Getting my offer from Utah was incredible, but now that my brother got an offer (it) makes it — it’s just amazing to have this happen,” Jackson said.