Player Development Headlines Kyle Whittingham’s Success At Utah
Oct 27, 2023, 1:27 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – Coming around to what fans of the University of Utah football program have known for a while, Kyle Whittingham is earning high praise from the national media as the longest-tenured coach in the Pac-12 conference.
Bruce Feldman heaped praise on Whittingham while appearing on the Ryen Rusillo Podcast on Monday, October 23. Rusillo and Feldman discussed the No. 13 Utes around the 51-minute mark in the podcast.
“Whittingham and his staff find a way,” Rusillo, a longtime Ringer personality said. “They’re going to out-tough basically every team they play against… I just would never want to bet against this guy because every single year it feels like he reminds you to never discount him.”
Kyle Whittingham deserves his flowers👏 pic.twitter.com/vrqyDyxVRP
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 26, 2023
In his 19th season leading the Utah Utes, the second-longest tenured head coach at the same school in the NCAA FBS (Kirk Ferentz, Iowa), Whittingham and his staff have made a habit of getting the most out of their players.
Recounting his days as a college football sideline reporter, Feldman talked about Utah’s physicality.
“They are a really nasty, physical team. They’re playing differently than most of the teams they play. They have grown men. They have super tough kids.”
Utah’s sustainability garnered more praise from Rusillo.
“This is the one program that went into the power five and stayed… He’s everything I want in a football coach.”
Utes Rely On Unearthing Gems In Slop With Recruiting
As the Utes prepared to face USC and quarterback Caleb Williams last week, Whittingham dropped this legendary quote that, in a lot of ways, illustrates the difference between Utah and college football blue-bloods when it comes to recruiting and development.
“They’ve got a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback, so they’re gonna make some things… But we’ve got ourselves a pig farmer at quarterback, so we’re proud of that guy too.”
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 22, 2023
Under Whittingham’s guidance, the Utes have continually taken two and three-star recruits and turned them into high-level college contributors.
“Credit to Utah and credit to him (Whittingham),” Feldman said. “He does not get enough respect for what he does. They find guys.”
Referencing current Utes like Sione Vake and Bryson Barnes, along with former Utes such as 2023 NFL first-round pick Dalton Kincaid, Feldman raved about the program’s ability to prepare lesser-heralded prospects.
“There’s something to be said for players who nobody really knows much about, that when they get pressed into duty, they excel… They are guys that most people don’t know anything about, even if they follow recruiting. Then they get their chance and blow up. That is a culture highlight for them.”
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