Current NFL Players from Utah High Schools; Current NBA Players from Utah High Schools

The local football talent here in Utah really is amazing. Alternatively, the basketball talent is very poor. Makes what Larry K has been able to cobble together all the more impressive.


Penei Sewell - 2021 Top 5 Pick
Zach Wilson - 2021 Top 5 Pick

Cody Barton
Jackson Barton
Julian Blackmon
Garett Bolles
Leki Fotu
Chase Hansen
Nate Orchard
John Penisini

Jamaal Williams
Harvey Langi

Tyler Larsen
Patrick Scales
Nick Vigil

Kaden Ellis
Alohi Gilman
Porter Gustin
Andre James
Marcus Kemp
Bryan Mone
Dalton Shultz
Xavier Sua-Filo
N0ah T0g1a1


Frank Jackson

??? Anyone else? David Stockton? Does he count?

I understand that NFL rosters have 5x more openings, but that means there should be at least 5 or 6 NBA players from local high schools given there are at least 25 NFL players from local high schools. I’m probably missing several.

A lot of high NFL draft picks from local high schools, this year two in the top 5, maybe even top 3. Good grief.

I think Sam Merrill is with the Bucks.

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Looking at it another way:

Utah’s population is about 1% of the US population. There are 450 roster spots in the NBA, if Utah high schools had average basketball talent we’d see 4-5 players from Utah high schools in the NBA at any given time.

Is that the case? Not even close. Frank Jackson is barely on a roster. Anyone else? Anyone else in the last 10 years?? Collinsworth for a few games?

There are 1700 roster spots in the NFL. If Utah high schools had average football talent we’d see about 17 players in the NFL at any given time. There are 25 in the NFL.

Utah high school basketball talent is <20% of average. Utah high school football is 150% of average.

Utah Mr Basketball Award Winners:

The award dates back to 1988, there’s only ONE player who was a routine starter in the NBA. Shawn Bradley. Not exactly a stud. Most of the list is players who were below average college players.

I can’t find a list of Utah Mr Football Award winners, it would be interesting to look at, I’d bet we see a lot of NFL players.

Majerus’ run was made possible by some solid local players he didn’t have to work to get. When he took over, he walked right into Josh Grant, who was better than any local high school prospect since then. Johnsen brothers and many other local talents were also a huge part of Majerus’ success.

Jerry Pimm had Tom Chambers and Danny Vranes. Two local players who were both NBA starters.

It’s not that Giac, Boylen, and Larry have ignored local talent in favor of elsewhere, it just isn’t there anymore, it ran dry a long time ago.

Yep, I missed him. Pretty recent. Over the past 5, 10 years it appears there has been 0,1, or 2 local high school players in the NBA. Average of 1, at most.

It’s clearly true that Utah is not a basketball producing state, and I’m pretty sure the University of Utah is not a basketball school.

We’ve consistently finished in the top third of The Conference of Champions despite our state being an absolute ■■■■■■■■ for local player talent, coaching talent, fan support, and the worst student section in the world.

In the days of yore (a defined term that means whenever I was a teen) the State could proudly stand with Indiana, North Carolina, and Kentucky as “Basketball States”. Frequently, there were more people attending Saturday games at USU, WSU, UofU, and BYU (more then 5 digits worth individually) combined than in most other areas. WSU, a small school, has an arena many P5 programs could be proud of, no? That is the legacy left to the current generation, which has been largely squandered. All of it now subsumed under the Jazz umbrella, it seems.

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Utah really was a hot spot for basketball back in the day. Sad to see it go. On the other hand, football talent here is exploding. Unfortunately most of it leaves the state, whereas the local kids seemed to stay in state when basketball was a hot spot.

Wasn’t there an article in Sports Illustrated in the early 90s or so that highlighted Utah as being a basketball hotbed? Utah and BYU were peaking then and part of the thesis of the article was that with a basketball court in every church, that there would be great players coming out of the state for a while.


I can’t find anything in the 90s, found these.

And I was reminded that if Paul Afeaki hadn’t been shot, Utes would have one more Final Four banner.

Who the hell shot Afeaki? Some racist Trump Supporter out there probably.

Back in the days of Ward BBall being the only show in town, a lot of kids were developing their skills in the local church house. As the game has changed and development of athletes has become super-specialized, many kids around here got financially crowded out of development. Only the athletic one-percenters, or kids from families with money land on the radar now.

This was one of the “not for the better” changes.

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Would we have beat Texas Western if George Fischer didn’t break his leg late in the season? Would Billy McGill have been in multiple Final Fours if Alan Holmes hadn’t been in that auto accident?

I honestly don’t know.

Apparently the kids here aren’t using the church gyms anymore.

Look at the last couple year’s high school recruits in Utah; last year the top 5 highest ranked kids were out of towners at Wasatch Academy. The remaining top 10:

Mason Falslev
Dallin Hall
Dallin Grant
Jake Wahlin

…what a joke. How would the Majerus era been had there been no local talent to recruit? You can’t build top 20 basketball programs with this.

Hey BamaFanNKY, what are your thoughts on this topic?

Did you realize Utah high schools produce 150% of the national average of NFL players while Utah high schools produce less than 20% of the national average of NBA players?

Are folks from the south starting to pay attention to the Utah high school football stud farm?

Just the Sewell family alone makes Utah a hell of a football state for recruiting.

Duncan Reid (Randy Reid’s son) is torching teams for 40 points a night. He has D1 offers outside of Utah from…nobody.

Another example of how bad local high school bball is and why we won’t see good college bball here for awhile either.

Some names in the Top 25 scoring leaders in Utah high school bball:


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Just for comparison, here are the names of Gonzaga’s local high school players from Washington and Oregon, the low hanging fruit Mark Few is picking:


Just sayin.

Local talent during our glory years:


Just sayin.

Folks expecting ncaa tourney invites when our local recruiting pool is full of Talon, Rad, Cutter, and a million spellings of Jaxon…get real, let’s be real here.