The top 10 players returning to the Utah Utes for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Brant Kuithe, TE
2. Devin Lloyd, LB
3. Britain Covey, WR
4. Bryan Thompson, WR
5. Andrew Mata'afa, LB
6. Nephi Sewell, LB
7. Maxs Tupai, Edge
8. Nick Ford, G
9. Orlando Umana, C
10. Braeden Daniels, G
Honorable Mention: Jaylen Dixon, WR; R.J. Hubert, S; Simi Moala, T; Jake Bentley, QB; Hauati Pututau, Edge
Kuithe is in the conversation for most well-rounded tight end this season and he's a dynamic pass-catcher. He ripped off 34 receptions for 602 yards and six scores a year ago, churning out first downs and YAC after YAC in a dominant year. Covey and Thompson should also see an uptick in downfield receptions with either Bentley or Cameron Rising through the ball their way. Thompson caught 18 passes for 461 yards while Covey hauled in just 10 catches for 77 yards in just four games before being shut down.
Then there's Lloyd, who in my opinion, should have actually won the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award last year. He does everything at elite levels and does them all regularly. His impact brushed off on his teammates as well and in limited time, Mata'afa looked incredibly gifted.
There's a ton of snaps to go around from a defense that basically graduated everyone, so Mata'afa, if given the time to do so, should blossom this season. As should Sewell.
Their returning interior along the offensive line should absolutely benefit whoever it is at quarterback but this is, by all stretches of the word, a rebuilding year for the Utes. They graduated or lost to the NFL draft 11 of their 12 leaders in terms of most snaps played on defense last season, as well as their star running back Zack Moss and their longtime QB Tyler Huntley. It may be a rough road ahead Utah, but it'll get better.