Fan-Favorite Utah Players That Wore The Number 13

May 13, 2022, 3:53 PM | Updated: 4:19 pm
Linebacker Gionni Paul #13 of the Utah Utes returns an interception against quarterback Jake Browni...
Linebacker Gionni Paul #13 of the Utah Utes returns an interception against quarterback Jake Browning #3 of the Washington Huskies on November 7, 2015 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY- It’s Friday the 13th so why not take a stroll down memory lane of some fan-favorite Utah athletes who wore the jersey number 13? While a bit of a tough exercise, fans responded to our question throughout the day on Twitter and came up with some fun names.

The Hard Hitters

Unsurprisingly, football had the most input from fans and lets just say there are some memorable faces who donned the number 13 for the Utes.

One fan took us in the way-back machine to team captain and special teams player Colby Knight. Knight was responsible for some chaotic plays in the late ’90’s on special teams that fans still remember fondly. Quick research shows Knight got into bobsledding after his career at Utah with the USA Bobsled Team.

Next up, is Quinton Ganther. Ganther spent 2004 and 2005 pounding the ball on the ground with the Utes before heading to the NFL for a few years. After his playing days were over Ganther began a career in coaching. He is now currently the Utes’ running back coach, passing down his aggressive running style to the next generation.

Kelvin York was not with Utah for long only playing for them in 2012 and 2013, however, he made a lasting impression. Everyone fondly remembers the thumping he put on BYU in the run game in 2013 and for that he makes the list of legends who wore number 13.

In 2013 there was a ton of buzz about “this guy from Florida who used to play for Miami” coming to Utah. That athlete was linebacker Gionni Paul. Paul was never the biggest guy on the field, but he played with such a natural instinct for the game and ferocity that he quickly became a fan-favorite. The plays Paul made for the Utes from 2014-2015 not only cemented him as a legend for Utah fans, but also earned him some serious respect from opposing fans as well.

Finally, Ute fans were quick to remember a punishing safety from 2017-2018 that the late John Pease coined a “heat-seeking missile”. That safety of course is none other than Marquise Blair. Blair was known for hard hits (sometimes they were too hard) and it got him to the NFL. Unfortunately, he’s been a little injury plagued at the next level, but the Seahawks love his potential to cause mayhem.

The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of

Ok, this next one is not a Utah athlete, but the response was pretty funny and this guy does have a strong, negative connection to Utes of a certain age. Of course we are talking about BYU’s Johnny Harline. The year was 2006 and Utah was hosting their in-state nemesis in the season finally. Things looked great for the Utes until they weren’t. “Beck to Harline” will live in Rivalry Lore forever and that particular number 13 will haunt Ute fans and players for life.


Those Guys Who Dribble

Utah’s had a few basketball players come through who rocked the number 13. Hanno Mottola played for the Utes from 1996-2000 and had a fairly long career afterward. While he was only in the NBA for two years with the Hawks, he did bounce around the foreign circuit till 2014. David Collette was another guy who played hoops for Utah from 2016-2018 after transferring from Utah State.

Ladies Do It Right

Madelyn Robinson played for Utah volleyball from 2020-2021 while wearing the number 13 and she didn’t disappoint. In her last season she was named All Pac-12 First Team, came second on the team in kills with 340. Robinson was also one of three Utes last year to play every set of the season. Not bad.



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