Utah Football Claims Three State Of Sport Awards
Salt Lake City- Utah football took home three State of Sport Awards Thursday night for a football season unlike any other.
Utah finished their five-game 2020 Covid season on a three-game win streak that showed potential. Part of that optimism was due to the emergence of freshman running back Ty Jordan who tragically died Christmas night from an accidental gun-shot wound. Nearly nine months later, the Utes endured another heartache when sophomore defensive back Aaron Lowe was murdered at a house party in the middle of the season.
Determined to honor Jordan and Lowe’s legacy, Utah went on an incredible run playing some of their best football of the Pac-12 era. Those efforts earned Utah their first Pac-12 Championship and trip to the Rose Bowl against Ohio State. It was a year to remember, and an effort to be respected.
Team Of The Year
Utah may have come up short of victory against the Buckeyes, but they captured the attention of the college football world in what many have deemed a legendary battle. For that effort, the Utah Sports Commission voted Utah football as “Team of the Year” in the state of Utah.
Collegiate Male Athlete
A team is only as good as their best leader. At the heart and soul of the 2021 Utah football team was linebacker Devin Lloyd. Not only did Lloyd impress with his play on the field (eight sacks, 22 tackles for loss, 65 total tackles, and four interceptions- two of which went for touchdowns), but his maturity in leading the Utes through unprecedented adversity. Lloyd’s actions on and off the field not only attracted the Utah Sports Commission’s attention, but the NFL’s where he is expected to go in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Coach Of The Year
Kyle Whittingham has been a part of many incredible seasons with the Utes both as an assistant coach and head coach. The 1994 Freedom Bowl team, 2004 Fiesta Bowl, and 2009’s Sugar Bowl are all amazing feats in Utah football history that Whittingham had a hand in. However, 2021 stands in a category all on its own due to what the team overcame.
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