UTAH UTES

Breaking Down Utah Football’s 2023 Position Groups: Cornerbacks

Jul 13, 2023, 11:22 AM

SALT LAKE CITY –Fall camp is just under a month away for Utah football and to help refresh our minds for it, we’ll be breaking down each of the Utes’ 2023 position groups.

Every week till “Camp Kyle” kicks off, look for one offensive and one defensive position group per week. Today we take a look at a group that’s going to look a little different than it has the past few years but has a ton of potential in the cornerbacks.

Leading the way will be cornerback coach Sharrieff Shah who joined Utah’s staff in 2012 and has pretty much hit the ground running from the jump. The cornerbacks will have to do it without pick-six machine Clark Phillips III in 2023 since being selected in the fourth round by the Atlanta Falcons. However, Shah’s group has several players who are ready to step up, while also bringing in some exciting new talent.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Taking A Look At The Utah Cornerbacks.

As mentioned above, Phillips III will be a big loss for this group, however, there are a lot of returning athletes who have seen significant playing time against the likes of Ohio State, USC, Oregon, etc. over the past few seasons and should be ready to step into a larger role. Add in having a coach in Shah who is now in his 11th season with the team and you have to like your odds.

Expect the group to be anchored by guys like JT Broughton, Zemaiah Vaughn, and Faybian Marks who have all played significant roles for the Utes in the defensive backfield even with CPIII around.

A Closer Look At The Cornerback Returners

*Bolded names indicate significant experience.

  • JaTravis Broughton, Senior, played in all 14 games with 11 starts at cornerback in 2022, 35 career games with 18 starts, Pac-12 honorable mention as a sophomore in 2020.
  • Elijah Davis, Redshirt Freshman, played in three games in freshman season last year.
  • Nick Howe, Sophomore, saw no action last year.
  • Tao Johnson, Redshirt Freshman, played in four games at wide receiver and on special teams in 2022.
  • Kenzel Lawler, Sophomore, played in five games, seeing time on defense and special teams in 2022.
  • Jocelyn Malaska, Redshirt Freshman, got reserve action in three games, including in the Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl Game last season.
  • Faybian Marks, Junior, played in six games as a reserve corner and on special teams in 2022, played in 10 games the season before, starting seven before being sidelined due to injury.
  • Zemaiah Vaughn, Junior, played in all 14 games with seven starts, including the last six contests in 2022, got in 13 games with four starts in the previous season.

Who Is New At Cornerback For The Utes?

The Utes had a historic signing class in 2023 and the incoming cornerback talent both from high school and the transfer portal is a big reason why.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Some Words From Sharrieff Shah About The Utah Cornerbacks Room.

Unfortunately, the cornerback room was nursing some bumps and bruises through spring ball, but on the plus-side it allowed coach Shah to work more with some of the newcomers to get them up to speed for a very important 2023 season.

“After spring, I’ll tell you we started with 12 corners and have four playing right now,” Shah said. “It’s been a freakishly strange spring in that as much as the folks you wanted to see continue to play just got dinged up a little bit. It provided the opportunity for Miles Battle to get reps and he needed it. You know, God-given attributes- I can’t make anyone 6’4″ and 200 lbs., but I am so happy he is with me right now because there are some things he needed to learn and still needs to learn that I think will make him a good cornerback in our program. It’s been fantastic.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com 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, Instagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

 

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

olympic-cauldron-park-outside-newly-renovated-rice-eccles-stadium-2022...

Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah Utes Athletes Set To Compete At 2024 Paris Olympics

All eyes turn to Paris, France, next week for the 2024 Summer Olympics and there will be a few former Utah athletes taking the big stage.

2 days ago

baseballs...

Brian Preece

Locals In MiLB: Justin Sterner Gets Second Cup Of Coffee With Tampa Bay Rays

The life of a minor league bullpen arm is rarely straightforward, as former BYU Cougar standout pitcher Justin Sterner can attest.

4 days ago

kai-roberts-micah-ashman-celebrate-utah-win-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Kai Roberts, Micah Ashman Recount High School Basketball Rivalry After MLB Draft

Former Utah baseball stars Kai Roberts and Micah Ashman recounted a high school basketball rivalry after being drafted to the MLB.

4 days ago

merit jones...

Brian Preece

Utah Baseball Starting Pitcher Merit Jones Selected By Minnesota Twins

The Boston Red Sox have selected University of Utah starting pitcher Merit Jones with the 608th overall pick in the 2024 MLB draft.

5 days ago

micah ashman...

Brian Preece

Detroit Tigers Select Utah Utes Closer Micah Ashman In MLB Draft

Micah Ashman is the second Ute to hear his name called in the 2024 MLB draft after the Detroit Tigers picked him in the 11th round.

5 days ago

Smith-Snowden-Utah-Utes...

Michelle Bodkin

Getting To Know Utah Football’s 2024 Schedule: Arizona State Sun Devils

It’s time to dive into Utah football's game six against another familiar former Pac-12 foe in the Arizona State Sun Devils

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Breaking Down Utah Football’s 2023 Position Groups: Cornerbacks