UTAH UTES

Three Utes Make ESPN College Football’s Top 100 Players For 2023

Aug 15, 2023, 5:19 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Three Utes have been recognized by ESPN College Football as some of the Top 100 players of the impending 2023 season for Utah football.

Offensive lineman Sataoa Laumea came in at No. 89, tight end Brant Kuithe appropriately at No. 80, and starting quarterback Cam Rising just slid into the Top 25 at No. 23.

All three players have been integral to Utah football’s success over the past two seasons and are expected to be big contributors again this year as the Utes say “farewell” to the Pac-12.

No. 89 For ESPN’s Top 100: Sataoa Laumea

Laumea has played in 33 games as a Ute, starting 31 with 19 spent at right guard and 13 at right tackle. Laumea’s position flexibility helped Utah to the 11th-best rushing offense in the FBS in 2022. Laumea is a three-time All-Pac-12 selection while earning first team in 2022.

Laumea is currently in the running for the Outland Trophy this season and was named Preseason First-Team All-Pac-12.

No. 80 Is No. 80: Brant Kuithe

Kuithe has been a matchup problem since he emerged as a playmaker in 2018. As a bit of a tweener (part tight end, part wide receiver) Kuithe has gained respect in the football world for being a solid player with the potential to do big things at the next level.

In his five-year career as a Ute, Kuithe has racked up 148 receptions, 1,882 yards while averaging 12.7 yards per play and 16 career touchdowns.

 

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Utah hasn’t been afraid to use their tight ends elsewhere on the field either. Kuithe also has impressive rushing stats with 17 career carries for 162 yards, averaging 9.4 yards per carry while adding an additional four touchdowns to his stat sheet.

Kuithe opted to return for his sixth and final year of eligibility in 2023 after sustaining a season-ending ACL tear last season against ASU.

Cam Rising Is A Top Quarter Player At No. 23

Rising has had a stellar career for Utah, lifting the team to new heights while hoping to leave the Utes with a little more in his final season. The talented quarterback returns to Utah after sustaining an ACL tear earlier in the year against Penn State in the Rose Bowl.

In 2021, Rising took over the starting quarterback job three games into the season and never looked back. Since then, Utah’s QB1 has led the team to back-to-back Pac-12 Titles and Rose Bowl appearances.

Last year, in Utah’s second Pac-12 Title run, Rising put up 3,034 passing yards on 249-of-385 passing (8 INT, 26 TDs). He added 77 rushes for 465 yards and six rushing scores. Rising recorded 200+ passing yards, including one 300-yard game and a 400-yard game nine times in 2022.

 

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Rising was particularly great and received national recognition for his career-high night against No. 4 USC during the regular season in Salt Lake City. He finished the epic win with 415 passing yards (30-of-44), two touchdowns, 11 rushes for 60 yards and a career-best three rushing scores, while also punching in the game winning two-point conversion.

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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Three Utes Make ESPN College Football’s Top 100 Players For 2023