CRIMSON CORNER

Phil Steele Thinks Utah Will Have A ‘Potent Offense’ In 2020

Jul 22, 2020, 1:48 PM | Updated: 1:59 pm
Brant Kuithe - Utah Utes vs. Oregon Ducks...
Brant Kuithe #80 of the Utah Utes runs after a reception against the Oregon Ducks during their game at Rice Eccles Stadium on November 10, 2018 in Salt Lake City , Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – College football guru Phil Steele was very high on Utah last season as he predicted them to reach the College Football Playoff.

With two starters on defense and seven on offense returning from 2019, Steele thinks that Utah will have a lot of talent on offense starting with tight end Brant Kuithe.

“You look at the receiving corps., Brant Kuithe is one of the best tight ends in the country then you go to Britain Covey at wide receiver, they are very dangerous there,” Steele told KSL Sports. “(Cole) Fotheringham is another solid tight end, Bryan Thompson, so it’s a deep receiving corps., solid offensive line and good quarterback. It’s going to be a little different watching Utah. I think Utah is going to be a potent offense this year despite losing Moss and Huntley.”

Steele joined the Crimson Corner podcast to talk about the 2020 Utah football team and how they stack up against the rest of the Pac-12. Listen to the full interview, below.

Quarterback Battle

During the spring, the quarterback battle was the most talked about topic when discussing Utah football because of the departure of Tyler Huntley and having a battle between South Carolina graduate transfer Jake Bentley and Texas transfer Cameron Rising. Steele has Bentley projected as the Utes starting quarterback.

“It was one of those 51-49 things,” Steele said. “When you take a look at Bentley, he does have more experience. He’s got a big arm, SEC experience, a great mentality. He’s a coaches son, is a professional, makes good decisions. So, he is a QB at 6’4, 220 that can definitely do it all but Cam Rising, this guy is a big strong kid as well, he’s 6’3, 225, great escape-ability.”

With how close the battle is, it’s a good problem for Kyle Whittingham to have.

“Bentley was my number 11 rated quarterback out of high school, Rising was number 15 rated quarterback coming out of high school,” Steele mentioned. “Thing about Rising is that he did well on the scout team last year. I think coach (Kyle) Whittingham has a good situation here, a two-horse race and I think he will tailor the offense around which quarterback wins the job, but it should be pretty good depth at that quarterback position which is unusual because at most schools when someone doesn’t win they transfer. At least here we have two guys battling probably until we start this thing (the season).”

Running Back By Committee

With Zack Moss departing after becoming the school’s all-time rushing leader, Utah is looking for the next great running back. Steele is giving the starting job to Jordan Wilmore but it will be a committee of running backs contributing rather than a three-down back.

“I’ve got Jordan Wilmore pegged at starting running back with Devin Brumfield right behind him,” Steele mentioned. “Ty Jordan, the true freshman, my number 41 rated running back – Texas wanted him – he has tremendous skill sets and I think they are pretty deep at running back. Do I see a Zack Moss, someone that is going to rush for 1,400 yards and six yards per carry like last year? No I don’t see that. But I think it’s going to be more of a running back by committee and they will be productive.”

Steele picked Utah to finish second in the Pac-12 south standings behind the USC Trojans.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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