It's a bye week, so we can look ahead to next season, right?

The Utes have a strong senior class. Many of them are leaders and get the team in line so the coaches can concentrate on coaching. Whitt has said this team is as enjoyable to coach as any he can remember. Here are the seniors and one junior who won’t be around to see how the Utes follow this historic season in 2020.

Key Players (not having these guys will hurt!)
Zack Moss, RB
Bradlee Anae, DE
Francis Bernard, LB
Julian Blackmon, DB
Terrell Burgess, DB
Leki Fotu, DT
Tyler Huntley, QB
Darrin Paulo, OL
John Penisini, DL
Jaylon Johnson, DB

Contributors (Utah men, through and through, but they are reserves or starters and their backups aren’t a big drop-off)
Kyle Lanterman, OL
Tareke Lewis, DB
Alex Locklear, OL
Josh Nurse, DB
Demari Simpkins, WR
Andrew Strauch, PK
Hunter Thedford, TE
Paul Toala, OL
Derrick Vickers, WR
Malik Haynes, DE

What’s cool is that almost all of these guys have played at one point or another and made a difference. A couple were once walk-ons, some were transfers. As Whitt says, they are “All In and not in the way.”

While the OL was the big question mark heading into 2019, it will be the one of the stronger units going into 2020. I think WR, TE and RB will also be strong, although losing Moss is a big loss. QB will be the big question and I hope there is a robust competition between Shelley and Rising. The D will need to totally re-build the back end, but should be stout again upfront. The front won’t be as good as 2019, but it should be solid. I always believed 2020 would be a big drop-off. I don’t think so now.

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