Kafusi - transfer from BYU. He has some things he needed to clean up, but he was coming to Utah with only two years to play and a short amount of time to get ready. Instead, he gets a lot of extra time to learn the system and change his body. He plays in a system that will help him excel, the 4 man front vs BYU’s 3 man front. He gets more time to learn the system before the season starts AND he gets a free year of eligibility. He has gone from “maybe he can contribute at Utah and flash enough to get a UDFA deal” to “he has time to learn and grow and can become a major contributor with a good chance to be drafted, maybe in the first three rounds”.
Kuithe…not that one. Blake. In 2018, Utah had succeeded. They got Blake Kuithe to Utah. They had to take his brother and burn a scholarship there, but that was ok because Blake was looking like a star at DE. He was just a true freshman, but he was tearing up camps/practices and looked every bit the future Mayor of Sack Lake City. Then he got hurt. And hurt again. And couldn’t get his knee right. It was very disappointing because he looked so good.
Two years later, Utah has a Kuithe who is a star, just not the one they thought. BUT, the extended time has helped Blake have time to recover, given him hope to not have to retire, and if he is healthy again…man, he looked good in 2018.
Covey - This guy desperately needed time off to get his body right. As a true freshman he lit the world on fire. He then went on a mission instead of using an offseason to get his body ready for P5 football. He came home, got hurt, rehabbed all offseason instead of getting his body right, then got hurt again. He finally took a year off to get right and then got even more time off to be 100%. A 100% Covey, with a thick body could be a talent that Utah hasn’t had at WR in a long time, maybe ever.
Hubert - He played a lot last year and coaches have expected him to be the next great safety. An injury knocked him out of the run last year and killed Utah’s championship hopes. But the extra time has allowed him to heal more and if he is ready to start at Safety this fall, we will have an experienced player with all conference potential back there.
I think you can add others to this list as well: Thompson, Bentley/Rising, Bam, Ritchie, Sewell, Phillips III, Broghton/Pleasant Johnson (those two have potential to be amazing…like a step below Johnson good…like “how good would Rowe/Nurse/Allen/McGill have been had they had one more year” good), etc. But those four players went from “maybe they can be contributors in select situations” to “they could be ready to compete to be all conference players”.