In part two, we take a look at players’ ranked #40 - #31.
#40: Quarterback - Chase Hansen
For a player that has never played an official down in a college football game, there has sure been a lot to talk about with him. Chase Hansen surprised many when he committed to Utah over BYU back in 2012, and after redshirting in 2012 due to injury, Hansen served an LDS mission in Australia for two years. This led to the inevitable speculation that he would transfer to BYU upon his return, which ended up being completely false. Hansen participated in spring camp early this year and very quickly shot up the depth chart, overtaking quarterbacks like Brandon Cox, Conner Manning and Donovan Isom for the #3 spot on the depth chart. Hansen showed in the spring that he is an elite scrambler and is threat to score whenever he runs the ball. His arm strength needs working on, as well as his command of the offense, but he showed enough to warrant hype as the QB of the future. Look for him to carry the ball this season as a wildcat quarterback.
#39: Linebacker - Sunia Tauteoli
Tauteoli is another Ute player that has had quite the journey getting to the U, as the former East High and Snow College standout originally signed with Utah State back on Signing Day 2014, but had a change of heart that fall, and sat out the season in order to join the Utes in January of 2015. Tauteoli is a fast, physical linebacker that plays best against the run and getting after the quarterback. He's known as a hard hitter but also has the ability play in space, as he displayed during the spring game, grabbing an interception to save a touchdown. Tauteoli will likely be the first linebacker off the bench this fall, and should step in to a starting job in 2016 as a junior.
#38: Defensive Tackle - Clint Shepard
A former walk on that was awarded a scholarship last fall, Shepard surprised many when he topped the depth chart at defensive tackle last fall, and got off to a great start to the season before having injury issues from the third game on. Shepard is quick off the ball and does a great job of collapsing the pocket on passing situations. His injury issues led to the emergence of Lowell Lotulelei, and with it looking unlikely that Lotulelei will give up that starting spot, look for Shepard to be a part of the 6 player deep defensive tackle rotation.
#37: Safety - Andre Godfrey
Godfrey was one of the prized signings from the 2014 class, and was one of the true freshmen expected to make an impact during the season. He played in 7 of 13 games with a start against Oregon State. Godfrey was initially the replacement for Tevin Carter when he got injured, but was later replaced in an effort to get more speed on the field, as Utah was essentially playing defense with two strong safeties when he and Brian Blechen were on the field together. Godfrey is slated as the back up to Carter this season, and will see action at safety in a backup role, as well as be a mainstay on special teams.
#36: Safety - Marcus Williams
Williams was the surprise from last year’s recruiting class, as not many expected him to make an impact as a true freshman, and he ended up starting six games at free safety. As mentioned earlier in the article, Utah needed to get more speed on the field after Tevin Carter was injured, and Williams was the beneficiary. His first game against Washington State was nothing short of a disaster, but Williams actually turned in to a pretty good starting safety by the end of the season, finishing tied fifth on the team with 59 tackles, and also had two forced fumbles and an interception. Williams is currently slated as the backup at free safety heading in to fall camp, but isn't behind the starter by much. He is someone that could earn a starting spot with a strong camp.
#35: Wide Receiver - Raelon Singleton
We talked about the surprise of last season with Marcus Williams, now it's time to talk about the surprise of spring camp 2015, Raelon Singleton. Singleton redshirted last season as a true freshman after injuring his shoulder in the first week of fall camp, and that led to many people not expecting much from the 6'3 wide receiver. Singleton came out and made a statement in the spring though, as he looked like the second best receiver on the field behind just Kenneth Scott. Singleton is long, and has huge strides when running, but is also a very sure handed catcher. He was rarely dropping passes during the spring and was consistently one of the top performers every practice. Had we made this list before the spring, he likely would not have been on it at all. Singleton should see time this fall in the receiver rotation, and will be a front runner for a starting spot in 2016.
#34: Wide Receiver - Delshawn McClellon
One of the fastest players on the team, McClellon started out 2014 as the starter at slot receiver, but was overtaken by All American Kaelin Clay in the third game of the year. McClellon finished the year strong with 3 catches for 77 yards and a TD in the last two games of the year, but did not make much of an impact in the 10 games prior. McClellon is slated as the backup at slot receiver heading in to fall camp, but is another player that could break in to the starting line up with a strong camp. His speed is a big asset on the field as he is able to stretch the field vertically.
#33: Tight End - Evan Moeai
Moeai went in to the 2014 season as the backup behind Westlee Tonga, but that was short lived, as he blew out his knee in the first game of the season after taking big hit directly to his knee. Now 100% recovered, Moeai is entrenched in a battle for the starting spot at tight end, where he is known as the best receiving option at the position.
#32: Offensive Tackle - Sam Tevi
The former defensive tackle has finally settled in to his new position, as the coaching staff made the decision to move Tevi to the offensive line final last fall. Tevi quickly got up to speed on what it takes to be a starting offensive tackle in the PAC 12, and spent all of last season as the backup at right tackle. Now that J.J. Dielman has moved over to left tackle, Tevi slid in to the starting spot at right tackle this spring, and is listed as the starter heading in to the fall. He'll have to fend off Jackson Barton in order to keep that spot, but Tevi has a great blend of athleticism and power that makes him a very viable option on the offensive line.
#31: Safety - Jason Thompson
Once a QB, Thompson is now the starter heading in to fall camp at free safety. After transferring from Wyoming, and sitting out all of the 2014 season except for the Las Vegas Bowl where he played on special teams and at QB, Thompson made the switch to safety in the spring, where he immediately made big strides. At 6'1-210, Thompson is physical presence in the defensive backfield, but also has to speed to play "centerfield." He was originally committed to Washington back in 2012 as a defensive back, before switch to Wyoming in order to play QB. Now playing the position that is his most natural, Thompson must fight off Marcus Williams in the fall to keep his starting spot, but will have a big impact on the defense and special teams either way.