Former Ute Regrets Leaving School Early, Applauds Moss’ Decision To Stay At Utah

Jan 8, 2019, 3:01 PM | Updated: 3:05 pm
Quarterback Scott Mitchell #19 of the Cincinnati Bengals looking on from the sidelines during the g...
Quarterback Scott Mitchell #19 of the Cincinnati Bengals looking on from the sidelines during the game against the Cleveland Browns at the Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Bengals 18-0. (Credit: Tom Pidgeon /Allsport via Getty Images)
(Credit: Tom Pidgeon /Allsport via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – On the heels of the announcement from four notable Utah football players that they will return for the 2019 season and their senior year, another former, legendary Ute player said he regrets his decision to forgo his senior year for the NFL. 

Juniors Bradlee Anae, Zack Moss, Julian Blackmon and Leki Fotu all decided to stick around Salt Lake City for their senior years. All four were high on the radar of NFL scouts after the Utes’ season. Utah won their first Pac-12 South Division, and went to the first football conference championship game in team history.

Despite the chance to declare for the NFL Draft, they all decided to stick around, complete their degrees, and help the Utes next year in their attempt to return to – and win – the Pac-12 Championship.

Moss missed the last five games of the 2018 season following knee surgery. He announced his return on Twitter, saying he had “unfinished business.”

Good News For Utah Fans

“This is a really exciting thing if you are a Utah fan,” said Scott Mitchell, color analyst for Utah Football and former Ute quarterback on his podcast, Helmets Off.

Moss, Utah’s star running back, is the most notable of the group. Moss finished the season with 1,092 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was high on the radar of NFL scouts following the Utes 9-5 season.

“Zack Moss could be the poster child for the Pac-12 conference next year,” said Mitchell.

Spotlight On Moss

Mitchell commended Moss’ decision and the reason he provided for staying. He talked about his own experience when faced with a similar choice.

Zack Moss had this to say about his final decision to stay:

“I want to stay in school and finish my degree. I’ll be the first person in my family to get my degree and that is important to both my mom and to me. I also want to be a part of our team goals for next year and graduate with (high school teammates) Demari (Simpkins) and Tyler (Huntley).”

Scott Mitchell’s Regret & Advice

Mitchell recalled being faced with the same choice after his junior year.

At a time before online breakdowns, player analysis and more information about what a player could expect, he chose to leave the University of Utah, enter the NFL Draft and hope for the best.

“There is a big part of me that wished I hadn’t left, that I would have stayed in school. It was a tough, tough decision,” admitted Mitchell.

He was drafted in the fourth round by the Miami Dolphins, where he backed up legendary quarterback, Dan Marino. He went on to spend 10 seasons in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.

Despite his NFL career, Mitchell said he was talked into leaving school early, and that he “never should have done it.”

Mitchell’s advice to young players faced with the same decision?

“Go with your gut. Go with your heart.”

Listen to the full episode of Helmets Off here:

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Helmets Off

coach- fassel...
Scott Mitchell, KSL Sports

Mitchell: I Am Forever Grateful For Coach Fassel’s Wisdom, Timing

How did BYU’s 1986 top football recruit, a Latter-Day Saint quarterback from Utah County, not go to BYU? I’ll tell you how, Coach Fassel. 
2 years ago
Cam Rising and Jake Bentley - Utah Utes...
Scott Mitchell, KSL Sports

Utah Quarterback Watch: 2020 Season Doesn’t Really Count, Use It To Develop Players

Regardless of who the starting quarterback for Utah Football is this fall, I would treat this season as glorified spring football practice, if I were coaching.
2 years ago
Utah QB Rising...
Scott Mitchell, KSL Sports

Utah QB Watch: Whoever Starts Must Have A Simple Playbook

If Utah is serious about competing for a Pac-12 championship, it would be wise for them to have already internally named a starting quarterback.
2 years ago
Utah QB Battle...
Scott Mitchell, KSL Sports

Utah QB Battle: Utes Must Make Decision On Starter ASAP

Rumor on the street has it that the Utah Football staff will make a decision by this weekend to narrow its choice of quarterbacks down to two and there is a possibility, wait for it ... that a regular-season starter is named.
2 years ago
utah utes quarterback...
Scott Mitchell, KSL Sports

Utah Utes Quarterback Watch: A Good Problem To Have

Follow along with former University of Utah quarterback Scott Mitchell as he analyzes the quarterback battle for the Utah Utes.
2 years ago
Zach Wilson - BYU...
Madisan Hinkhouse, KSL Sports

Former Utah QB: Zach Wilson Deserves To Be In Heisman Conversation & How He Can Stay There

Wilson is receiving national attention so far this season. That's one thing he will need to be considered for the Heisman.
2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Former Ute Regrets Leaving School Early, Applauds Moss’ Decision To Stay At Utah