Devaughn Vele Wanted Utah To Be ‘Feared’ Heading Into 2022, A Rose Bowl Win Would Cement That

Dec 15, 2022, 8:58 AM | Updated: 9:01 am
Devaughn Vele - Utah Utes vs. San Diego State...
Devaughn Vele #17 of the Utah Utes celebrates teammate Solomon Ennis's touchdown against the San Diego State Aztecs during the first half of their game September 17, 2022 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY- Before the 2022 season officially began, wide receiver Devaughn Vele dropped an incredible quote about how Utah was a “respected” team nationally, but it was time to move toward being “feared”.


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“We should still have that ‘chip’ on our shoulder,” Vele said. “One thing coach Whitt has brought up and I actually really liked was being a team that is ‘feared’ rather than ‘respected’. I mentioned it earlier in another interview- a lot of teams respect us now.”

We did it on a national stage, we won a Pac-12 Championship, went nose-and-nose with Ohio State,” Vele continued. “Everybody respects us. They see us now and they are like, ‘that’s a really good football team’, but we want to be a fearful team. People see Alabama on their schedule and are like, ‘oh my goodness, it’s Alabama, it’s the Crimson Tide.’ We want that same thing for Utah now. That’s the next step we have to go to. Now that we are respected, we need people to fear us.”

Fear Utah In The Rose Bowl

Initially, it looked like the Utes may have come up short in that quest for the year, but fate moved in some mysterious ways allowing Utah to showcase they are not a team anyone wants to mess with in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Knocking what felt like at the time a Playoff bound USC’s socks off in front of a sold-out crowd and millions more watching at home will certainly help with the perception you should be a “feared” team.

Asked about it again and Vele thinks the Utes have moved into more of the “feared” category, but says there is still more the Utes can do, like win the Rose Bowl to cement in people’s minds they are a team that is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

“I feel like we have,” Vele said. “We still have a long way to go, we have a lot more to prove and I feel like the first step to that is winning the Rose Bowl. That’s the preparation and mindset we are coming into this game, and we are going to make sure we execute it the best we can.”


Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Devaughn Vele Wanted Utah To Be ‘Feared’ Heading Into 2022, A Rose Bowl Win Would Cement That