Kyle Whittingham Gives Highest Praise To Utah LB Devin Lloyd

Dec 6, 2021, 11:42 AM
Kyle Whittingham and Devin Lloyd - Utah Utes Pac-12 Championship...
Head coach Kyle Whittingham (L) and MVP linebacker Devin Lloyd #0 of the Utah Utes celebrate the team's 38-10 victory over the Oregon Ducks to win the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Allegiant Stadium on December 3, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham gave the highest praise to star linebacker Devin Lloyd as the team prepares for the Rose Bowl.

Kyle Whittingham has coached a lot of great players on defense while at Utah and he is putting Devin Lloyd at the top of that list.

Whittingham and Ohio State head coach Ryan Day addressed the media on a teleconference call on Sunday afternoon after it was announced that the Buckeyes and Utes would square off in the Rose Bowl.

The all-time winningest head coach in Utah football history was asked about Devin Lloyd on the call.

“Devin is a special football player, he’s the best defender that’s ever come through the University of Utah, at least in the modern era,” Whittingham said. “There may have been someone in the 30s or 40s, or whatever that I don’t know about but in the modern era, he is going to be most likely and I think without a doubt the highest drafted defensive player that we’ve had.”

That really says a lot about Lloyd and his abilities on the football field. Whittingham has coached a ton of great defenders in his 17 seasons as head coach of the Utes. Coach Whittingham talked about what makes Lloyd so special.

“He is a guy that was a self made guy who came to us as a safety and a wide receiver out of high school,” said Whittingham. “We projected him at linebacker and just through sheer hard work and determination. He’s one of the top linebackers in the country. His versatility allows us to use him at the inside backer spot which is where he is most comfortable. We can also bring them off the edge, he’s done a lot of a pass rush for us in the sub packages and he’s a guy that really can do it all. He’s got the size, the strength, the speed, the agility that all the big time players have. He’s meant the world to us. Of course, he just won the MVP in the Pac-12 Championship game a couple nights ago and very well deserving of that.”

Utah’s Rich History Of Great Defensive Players

Since Kyle Whittingham has been the head coach of the Utes, the program has seen 30 draft picks from the defensive side of the ball. Here are those players that were drafted:

  • 2005: Jonathan Fanene, DE
  • 2005: Sione Po’uha, DT
  • 2006: Spencer Toone, LB
  • 2007: Eric Weddle, S
  • 2007: Paul Soliai, DT
  • 2009: Brice McCain, CB
  • 2009: Sean Smith, CB
  • 2009: Paul Kruger, DE
  • 2010: R.J. Stanford, CB
  • 2010: Stevenson Sylvester, LB
  • 2010: Robert Johnson, S
  • 2010: Koa Misi, LB
  • 2013: Joe Kruger, DE
  • 2013: Star Lotulelei, DT
  • 2014: Trevor Reilly, LB
  • 2014: Keith McGill, CB
  • 2015: Nate Orchard, DE
  • 2015: Eric Rowe, CB
  • 2017: Pita Taumoepenu, LB
  • 2017: Brian Allen, CB
  • 2017: Marcus Williams, S
  • 2018: Kylie Fitts, DE
  • 2019: Cody Barton, LB
  • 2019: Marquise Blair, S
  • 2020: John Penisini, DT
  • 2020: Bradlee Anae, DE
  • 2020: Leki Fotu, DT
  • 2020: Terrell Burgess, S
  • 2020: Julian Blackmon, S
  • 2020: Jaylon Johnson, CB

This doesn’t even account for other great players that went undrafted, including Jared Norris, Gionni Paul, Brian Blechen, Derrick Shelby, Lowell Lotulelei and many more players that I know I didn’t mention. This just goes to show how special Devin Lloyd is.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

Michelle Bodkin

Whittingham: Utes Take Another Step Forward In Pac-12 Play

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham was overall pleased with the Utes' effort against Oregon State, noting they took another step forward.
1 day ago
Kyle Ireland

Report: Panthers To Elevate Former Utah Safety To Active Roster

The Carolina Panthers plan to elevate a former Utah Utes safety to their active roster for Week 4, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
1 day ago
Michelle Bodkin

Instant Takeaways From Utah’s Domination Of Oregon State

This was an odd game for #12 Utah. They handled Oregon State pretty well 42-16, but the stats don't necessarily show that.
1 day ago
Utah Utes Football vs. Oregon State...
Patrick Kinahan

PK: Utes Clear Another Barrier By Blowing Out Oregon State

As the prohibitive favorite to win the Pac-12, Utah can look at the nine conference games as individual obstacles to hurdle along the way toward achieving the primary goal.
1 day ago
Clark Phillips III - Utah Utes vs. Oregon State...
Trevor Allen

Former Utes Share Excitement After Clark Phillips’ Third INT

A historic game for a Utah defender as star cornerback Clark Phillips III recorded three interceptions against Oregon State.
1 day ago
Dalton Kincaid - Utah Utes vs. Southern Utah...
Trevor Allen

Utah QB Rising Connects With Kincaid For Fifth Time In 2022

For the fifth time this season, Utah quarterback Cam Rising has thrown a touchdown pass to star tight end Dalton Kincaid against OSU.
1 day ago
Kyle Whittingham Gives Highest Praise To Utah LB Devin Lloyd