Five Players From The State Of Utah Named To Outland Watchlist

Jul 26, 2022, 10:38 AM
(Photos courtesy of Utah Athletics, BYU Photo, Utah State Athletics)
(Photos courtesy of Utah Athletics, BYU Photo, Utah State Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY – The state of Utah is well-represented on the Outland Trophy preseason watchlist that was announced on Tuesday morning.

Five players with ties to the state of Utah have been named to the Outland Trophy preseason watchlist, which is given annually to the best interior lineman in the country on either side of the football. A total of 89 players from around the country were selected to the watchlist by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

The five players from the state named to the watchlist include Utes offensive lineman Braeden Daniels, defensive tackle Junior Tafuna, BYU offensive lineman duo Blake Freeland and Clark Barrington, and Utah State offensive lineman Alfred Edwards III.

Five Players From The State Of Utah Named To Outland Watchlist

Braeden Daniels, Utah

Daniels is an experienced offensive lineman that could have a breakout season in 2022. He played in two games in 2018 while using his redshirt. Then in 2019, Daniels started all 14 games at left guard. During the 2020 season, Daniels played in all five games with one start. This past season in 2021, Daniels started all 14 games, three at left guard and 11 at right tackle.

Junior Tafuna, Utah

Tafuna is the only defensive lineman from the state to be named to the Outland Trophy watchlist. He had a strong 2021 season with starts in the last 11 games, racking up 33 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, and a pass breakup. Tafuna was named Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.

Blake Freeland, BYU

Freeland started all 13 games at left tackle for BYU in 2021. After a strong 2021 season, Freeland was named Phil Steele All-Independent first-team and Pro Football Network All-Independent first-team.

Clark Barrington, BYU

Barrington started all 13 games at left guard in 2021 for the Cougars. He played in 10 games in each of his first two seasons with BYU in 2019 and 2020. The Spokane, Washington native is receiving a lot of hype this off-season being named a 2022 preseason All-American by four organizations, including Phil Steele, Sporting News, Lindy’s Sports, and Athlon Sports.

Alfred Edwards III, Utah State

Edwards earned All-MWC honorable mention after a strong 2021 season for the Aggies. He started all 13 games at left tackle, recording 12 knockdowns. Despite missing one game due to injury last season, Edwards played 830 snaps.

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