Utah Expects Even Bigger Role For Lander Barton In 2023

Aug 14, 2023, 4:39 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s hard to believe more could be expected from someone who won Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2022, but Utah sees big things ahead for Lander Barton in 2023.

After a tough first outing against Florida last season, Barton burst onto the scene, putting Pac-12 offenses on notice that he was not one to be messed with. Even as a freshman.

Barton’s early success shouldn’t be a surprise to most die-hard Ute fans who are likely familiar with his family pedigree. Cody and Jackson were with Utah football in their earlier endeavors in the Pac-12, while sister Dani starred for the volleyball team. Taking it back to the early ’90s, Barton’s parents were both two-way athletes- Paul played football and baseball, while Mikki shined for women’s basketball and volleyball. No wonder the expectations are high for Barton’s sophomore campaign.

Lander Barton Brings Star Power To Utes

A lot of people would be intimidated by the lofty expectations the coaches and fans have for Barton, but he simply sees it as doing his job to the best of his ability.”

“I’m just going to do my job,” Barton said after practice last week. “As coach Scalley preaches and coach Whitt- we need to take care of our 20 square feet, so, I’m going to go out there and do what I’m expected to do. Hopefully that’s good enough. I’m a completely different person. It feels way different being out there.”

While Barton exudes confidence in his ability, he is quick to admit a few things have been easier for him in his second season at Utah versus his first.

“Mostly the speed,” Barton said. “The speed of the game and the reads are starting to slow down for me. It’s a big help.”

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Expects Even Bigger Role For Lander Barton In 2023