When Utah's players left for Christmas break on Dec. 23, there was a ton of reason for optimism within the program.
The Utes finished the season with three straight wins and star freshman running back Ty Jordan was named the Pac-12 Offensive freshman of the year. Then came the additions of transfer quarterbacks Ja'Quinden Jackson (4-star, Texas) and Charlie Brewer (Four-year starter, Baylor), setting the stage for what could be a very special 2021 season.
But then tragedy struck on Christmas night when Jordan passed away due to an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot.
That sent any of the 2021 optimism down the drain and left a lot of questions to be answered.
Utah then struck gold when stars like tight end Brant Kuithe, offensive lineman Nick Ford and linebacker Devin Lloyd all elected to pass on the NFL draft for one more ride with the Utes.
The Utes then received more good news when former Oklahoma and 4-star running back TJ Pledger announced his commitment to the Utes on Monday.
The good news didn't stop there as Pledger and freshmen Micah Bernard and Ricky Parks will now have more competition for carries.
Former LSU and four-star running back Chris Curry announced his intention to play for the Utes after entering the transfer portal. He will have three years of eligibility left.
This is once again another big win for the Utes as Curry brings size and strength to a running backs room that was lacking in both areas. Listed at 5-foot-11, 216 pounds, Curry spent the last few seasons at LSU where he backed up Clyde Edwards-Helaire in 2019 and split time as a trio of runners last year.
Throughout is career, Curry ran for 336 yards on 91 carries, adding four receptions for 33 yards.
Obviously his size stands out immediately, but his ability to run through tackles and carry defenders for extra yards is something Utah fans should be excited. Those third-and-short and goal-to-go scenarios just got a lot easier with the addition of Curry.
But surprisingly, he shows nimble feet and great short-area quickness to be able break tackles as well, which also helps him in pass protection. LSU also lined him up at wide receiver, which proves what they thought of his overall athleticism.
Now it seems like Utah's running back room is complete with the additions of Pledger and Curry — and once again will be a huge strength this upcoming season and beyond.
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