Within the wonderful world of college football, the words of guru analyst Phil Steele carries a lot of weight. One of the most accurate predictors in the sport, Steele is extremely well informed when it comes to record and all-conference team predictions.
Utah fans had better hope so because Steele is predicting a very good season for a number of Utes.
In his college football season preview, Steele named 11 players to 12 different positions across the four all-Pac-12 teams.
Redshirt freshman Sataoa Laumea was the only Ute named to the first-team offense, somewhat surprising considering the play of lineman Nick Ford and tight end Brant Kuithe over the past few seasons.
Utah is expected to be dominant on defense again, so it comes as no surprise that linebacker Devin Lloyd and defensive end Mika Tafua were named to the first-team defense. While both players could be taken in the early part of the 2022 NFL draft, Lloyd should be in the running for the Pac-12 defensive player of the year after being named a second-team all-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Britain Covey and Jadon Redding were both named to the first team for special teams. Covey is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous punt returners in college football while Redding appears to be the next great Utah kicker.
Covey was named to the second-team offense as a wide receiver, joining Kuithe. Both of them have the potential for a breakout season, especially Kuithe. If he can rekindle some of the magic from two years ago, he's matchup nightmare and could really elevate his stock around the country.
Long snapper Keegan Markgraf was selected to the second team on special teams.
While no Utes were named to Steele's third team, four were named to the fourth team.
Joining Ford was transfer running back TJ Pledger, an interesting choice by Steele considering no running back has been named a starter despite the competition expecting to be tough and rigorous. Converted linebacker Nephi Sewell and cornerback JaTravis Broughton were named to the defense.