One week into May, and it’s time to think about college football, naturally.
In the wake of the recently completed NFL draft, NFL.com’s Chad Reuter created a list of the top 150 players to watch in college football this season — based partially on their importance to their college team and partially on their value as an NFL prospect.
Four players with Utah ties made the list.
The top local player to appear the list is former Salem Hills star Porter Gustin, the USC senior linebacker who comes in at No. 41.
“Gustin’s junior year was limited to four games due to injury, but he expects to be healthy this fall,” Reuter wrote. “He used his combination of strength and quickness on the edge to make 16 tackles, including three sacks, in those four games, following up a strong sophomore season where he earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors.”
BYU senior defensive end Corbin Kaufusi also shows up at No. 109 on the list, while Utah junior cornerback Julian Blackmon and punter Mitch Wishnowsky come in at No. 138 and No. 149, respectively.
The Pac-12 has three players in the top 10 on the list, including Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert at No. 4, Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate at No. 7 and Stanford running back Bryce Love at No. 9.
Dogged coaching technique
Nine different NFL teams hit the practice field over the weekend for their rookie minicamps.
Those three days in camp give coaching staffs the opportunity to provide teaching and evaluation to the young talent assembled, whether it’s draft picks, undrafted free agents or players there on a tryout basis.
For these players, it’s their first taste of an NFL practice.
“We don’t favor any position — whether you’re drafted or nondrafted, we’re going to coach the dog out of you while you’re here,” former BYU offensive lineman and Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid told The Kansas City Star.
The Chiefs, who wrap up rookie camp Monday, had three former BYU players in camp on a tryout this year: running back Algernon Brown, center Tejan Koroma and defensive tackle Handsome Tanielu.
Former Utah safety and current Baltimore Raven Eric Weddle, along with his family, showed support for the "Hugs from Holly" movement last week.
The movement is designed to "share hugs and spread love & joy through random acts of heartfelt kindness" in remembrance of Holly Heap, the daughter of former NFL tight end Todd Heap who was accidentally struck and killed when her father was moving a truck at their house in April 2017. Holly Heap was 3 years old when she passed away. Todd Heap played 12 seasons in the NFL with the Ravens and Arizona Cardinals.