Whose Stock is on the Rise?
Andrew Gorridge: Troy McCormick
Despite his small frame, McCormick has shown the ability to be a legitimate running back that can run in between the tackles. Combine that with his excellent speed and ability to make defenders miss, it's hard to imagine McCormick not receiving significant reps this season.
Brian Swinney: Reggie Porter
Porter came in as a starter, but he's moved to the top of the chain as the best cornerback on the team. Porter has size, speed, and great instincts. He's been draped all over Utah wide receivers throughout camp.
Doug Kimmel: Dominique Hatfield, J.J. Dielman and Ilaisa Tuiaki
- Made a few big plays as a true freshman, but now Domo is showing he is ready for more of a role. He has a chip on his shoulder and is willing to get dirty & out work the competition.
- Athletic long frame is finally filling out and could be what Utah has been missing in recent years on the outside. JJ can play all 3 positions on the line make him the most versatile Ute O Linemen. Could win a starting job with a productive Summer/Fall.
- Last year the Utes defensive line was a question mark which turned out to be the strength of the team. Tenny is gone and Tuiaki is ready to bring the next man up. The cage fighter has converted to a better D Line coach than anyone could have anticipated. Tuiaki could carve out a niche for himself coaching the hogs on D and end up climbing the coaching ladder sooner rather than later.
Jayson Jones: Gionni Paul
Maybe not a great answer, but I would go with Paul. We all knew he would be great, but he's been better than that. He's a leader and without Whittingham on the field for spring, and Hale going down, he'll be even more needed.
James Cella: Hunter Dimick
He and Nate Orchard have been fantastic this spring, but Dimick is only a redshirt sophomore and is really growing into his starting role. He's a high motor guy and has proven to be a challenge for opposing tackles this spring. Granted, his teammates aren't the same challenges he'll face this season, but you can see that something has clicked with him and he's gaining confidence about his job and abilities. After a few glimpses into what Hunter could be last season as a part time contributor, look for him to breakout year, especially as Nate Orchard should draw a lot of attention next season.