Looking at the Utah linebackers heading into fall camp

The Utes are replacing their linebacker corps, and a few newcomers will need to contribute heavily

The Candidates

Marcus Sanders-Williams (Sr)

HE'S BACK! As a linebacker....for now. Marcus Sanders-Williams has moved positions every single year as a Ute, shuffling back and forth between running back and linebacker. He's back as a backer due to need. A shorter guy with a stocky build, he

David Luafatasaga (Jr)

Luafatasaga better be all that we've hoped he can be. The highly touted recruit that the Utes flipped late from Ole Miss is expected to come in right away and win a starting spot. Whittingham likes his ability to rush the passer as well, so you may see him in some of the 5 down linemen packages with his hand in the dirt. At 6-4, 237 and good athleticism, Luafatasaga has the highest ceiling of any of the linebackers and the Utes need him to be a high impact guy right away.

Cody Barton (So)

Barton is a high-energy guy that played on special teams as a freshman and was arguably the best linebacker Utah had in the spring. He has good size and solid instincts having played safety in high school. Doesn't have a super high ceiling, but he'll run through a wall and compete for a starting spot.

Christian Drews (Jr)

Drews is currently a walk-on, but if you're looking for someone on this team to earn a scholarship, Drews is likely the next in line. He's a solid player (not spectacular) that is going to help provide depth and should make his case to be in the rotation as a backup.

Jake Jackson (R-Fr)

Jackson used his redshirt season last year after coming off a mission and might be ready to contribute now that his body is in playing shape. He's a bit limited in what he can do, but is one of Utah's biggest linebackers. Whether or not he contributes is up in the air, but might be the biggest wildcard in the group.

Donovan Thompson (Fr)

Utah sure does love their 5-10 linebackers out of Miami. Thompson is a bit raw, but he's a thick 230. Probable redshirt guy, but the kid has some skills.

Davir Hamilton (Fr)

Is he a linebacker? A defensive end? A wide receiver? A tight end? Is he the next Nate Orchard? Hamilton was one of Utah's top recruits from last season and is a guy that should be able to get some early season reps if the speed of the game isn't too much for him. Even if he doesn't play much (or at all), the future is bright for the kid of out of Los Angeles.

Sunia Tauteoli (Jr)

The most experienced of the bunch, but that's not saying much. Tauteoli is undersized and isn't the quickest guy out there, but his instincts are solid and he's a big hitter. The favorite to grab the starting middle backer spot, he's an upperclassman that is the coaches trust most in the entire group.

It's thin out there. Very, very thin, especially with projected incoming JC transfer Kurtis Taufa having to push back enrollment until January due to academics. Losing all three starters from last season is somewhat mitigated by Utah playing a nickel package about 80% of three time and only needing two backers, but experience and overall talent is still at a drop-off from last year. It'll be a trial by fire with this group as NO ONE has any significant in-game reps, but all they need to do is be serviceable with a tremendous group in front of them, and an elite group behind them. Anything else is gravy.

Projected Post Fall Depth Chart

Mac

Sunia Tauteoli

Marcus Sanders-Williams

Rover

David Luafatasaga

Cody Barton


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