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Eight Utah Football Players Named To Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Pac-12 Teams

Britain Covey #18 of the Utah Utes returns a punt as he is chased by Iman Marshall #8 of the USC Trojans during the first quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – College Football expert Phil Steele named eight University of Utah football players to his preseason All-Pac-12 teams in his annual college football preview magazine.

Steele covers the Utes, the Pac-12, and more in his 352-page preview. The 2020 magazine is the 26th edition of Phil Steele’s College Football Preview.

As part of his preseason picks, Steele forecasts how well each team in the Pac-12 will do during the upcoming season. He predicts the Utes to finish second in the Pac-12 South behind the USC Trojans.

In addition, Steele named eight Utes to his preseason All-Pac-12 teams.

Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Pac-12 First Team

TE – Brant Kuithe (Junior)

After playing in 14 games as a true freshman in 2018, Kuithe had a breakout season last year. Once again, the tight end played in all 14 of Utah’s games, including nine starts. He led the Utes in receptions (34), receiving yards (602), and receiving touchdowns (6). Kuithe scored nine touchdowns in total, which tied for the best mark amongst FBS tight ends in 2019.

Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Pac-12 Second Team

WR/PR – Britain Covey (Junior)

2020 will be Covey’s fourth season as a member of the Utah football program. After leading the Utes receiving group in 2018, Covey played in only four games last season and redshirted. He will be a redshirt junior during the upcoming year. Covey’s played in 29 games at Utah and recorded 113 catches for 1,233 yards and 5 touchdowns. He’s also added 30 carries for 198 yards on the ground. In addition to his receiving skills, Covey’s talents as a returner earned his a spot on Steele’s first team as a specialist. He is the only Utah play to show up at two spots on Steele’s preseason teams.

OL – Simi Moala (Sophomore)

Moala redshirted in 2018 before earning Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention last season as a redshirt freshman. He played in all 14 of Utah’s games and started at right tackle in 12 contests. He helped lead the Utes to an 11-3 record in 2019.

OL – Nick Ford (Junior)

Ford opened his Utah career with a redshirt season in 2017. Over the last two seasons, the offensive lineman has played in 25 games, including 21 starts. In 2019, he started the final 13 games at right guard after playing right tackle in the season opener. He helped lead the Utes to an 11-3 record in 2019.

DL – Viane Moala (Senior)

In 2018, Moala transferred from Hawaii. After sitting out a year because of NCAA transfer rules, the defensive lineman played in all 14 of Utah’s games last season. He recorded 14 tackles and 1.0 sacks.

LB – Devin Lloyd (Junior)

After redshirting in 2017, Lloyd played in all 28 of Utah’s games over the past two seasons. In 2019, he started every game at linebacker. He led the Utes with 91 tackles last season. Lloyd was second on the team in sacks with 6.5 sacks and 11.0 tackles for loss.

Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Pac-12 Third Team

C – Orlando Umana (Senior)

Over the past three seasons, Umana has played in 39 games for the Utes. Last season, he started 12 games at center and earned Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention. He helped lead the Utes to an 11-3 record in 2019.

Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Pac-12 Fourth Team

LS – Keegan Markgraf (Senior)

Markgraf has played in each of the Utes’ 28 games over the last two seasons. He’s started every game of his Utah career at short snapper. He took over long-snapping duties midway through the 2018 season and has started every game at the position since then.

Phil Steele’s 2020 College Football Preview

Hard copies of Phil Steele’s 2020 College Football Preview can be purchased at PhilSteele.com. On July 24, hard copies will be available at Barnes and Noble locations.

Digital versions can be purchased from Steele’s website, the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, and on Amazon Kindle devices.