Deseret News
Dr. Chris Hill, University of Utah Athletic Director, isoverseeing the Utes' move to the Pac-12 in Salt Lake City Thursday, April 21, 2011.

The landscape of college sports in the state of Utah had a seismic change in 2010 when the University of Utah accepted an invitation to join the Pac-12.

Eight years later, Ute Zone writer Dan Sorensen examines what went into Utah joining the Pac-12 by gaining perspective of the men who played vital roles in the process, interviewing former Utah president Michael Young (now president at Texas A&M), former Utah AD Chris Hill (who retired earlier this year) and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott.

A huge component of adding Utah and Colorado — which left the Big 12 to go to the Pac-12 — was secrecy, as Sorensen laid out in his interviews with the trio.

"I can’t emphasize enough how exciting it was, how cool it was to be doing stuff that people didn’t know about, traveling places and working with Colorado and trying to figure things out. I essentially delivered the message to Larry that Colorado was interested, but I didn’t want to get them in trouble,"Hill told Sorensen.

Read Sorensen’s full oral history of the invitation at 247Sports’ Ute Zone.

Blackmon a top ‘underrated’ player

Utah cornerback Julian Blackmon had a breakout season in 2017, starting all 13 games for the Utes and earning second-team All-Pac-12 honors.

That helped the junior gain some attention, including being named to Athlon Sports writer Steve Lassan's list of college football's top 50 underrated players for 2018.

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"Blackmon emerged as one of the Pac-12’s top cornerbacks in 2017 and anchors one of the league’s top defensive backfields in 2018. After playing limited snaps as a freshman, Blackmon recorded 48 tackles, six pass breakups and four interceptions last fall," Lassan wrote.

Other links

College football bowl projections for 2018-19 (Athlon Sports)

10 things to know about the Utah Utes: 2018 Pac-12 football preview(The Oregonian)

The lowdown: Wide receivers (UtahUtes.com)

And finally …

For all those fans counting down the days until football season, Utah football’s Twitter account has something to help tide them over. The team shared a few shots from photo-shoot day, including pictures of Britain Covey, Chase Hansen and Blackmon.