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Utah’s Depth On Defense Showcased In Spring Practices

Apr 17, 2023, 2:29 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY – Year in and year out the Utah defense is always praised for being one of the best in the country and 2023 appears to be no different with their depth being showcased early in spring practices.

The Utes will mostly be returning their entire defense from 2021 and 2022 save for a few pieces such as linebackers Devin Lloyd, and Nephi Sewell from 2021 and linebacker Mohamoud Diabate, along with cornerback Clark Phillips III, and defensive end Gabe Reid from 2022.

Even with some of those key departures, the Utes appear stacked once more with guys like linebacker Lander Barton, defensive linemen Simote Pepa and Junior Tafuna, and safety Cole Bishop all being a year older and more experienced. They, among others were key in the Utes’ top ranked total defense and second ranked scoring defense in the Pac-12 in 2022.

Whittingham On The Defensive Depth

Last week, head coach Kyle Whittingham was asked how the depth of his defense looked ahead of a promising 2023 season, and the veteran coach seemed very confident with where the Utes stand.

“Very encouraged,” Whittingham said. “We have really good depth at every position and if we don’t right this second, by the time we add the guys this summer for what we will have for fall when the roster is all intact, it’s going to be a very deep defense. You’ve got to be ready to call on that depth in season because most years you will have to tap into it. We’ve got a lot of good players- a lot of good defensive ends. That might be the strong suit of the entire football team. No shortage of depth at this time on the defense. We’ve still got transfer portal windows to work through, but as we stand right now, today, we are in good shape.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah’s Depth On Defense Showcased In Spring Practices