UTAH UTES

Spring Ball Review: A Look At Utah Football’s Tight Ends

May 14, 2024, 11:49 AM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utes wrapped up a very productive spring ball that has fans antsy for the start of the 2024 football season.

All of the promise is there, and opportunities feel plentiful for an overall very experienced group heading into a new conference in the Big 12.

Unfortunately, there are a few months left till we can see it all come together for the Utes on the field, but for now we can go back and review the team in anticipation.

 

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Today’s focus is on a group that has produced a lot of NFL talent for the Utes as of late- Utah football’s tight ends. If you missed it, you can also check out the previous article about the Utes’ offense and defense from the coordinators.

Who Are The Utah Tight Ends?

What Tight Ends Coach Freddie Whittingham Had To Say About The Group After Spring Ball

The tight end group for the Utes appears to be very strong on paper and position coach Freddie Whittingham seems to agree after watching the group work through spring ball.

“I thought it was a really productive spring,” Whittingham said. “We had guys get better. We worked a lot on fundamentals and technique. Across the board- run blocking, running routes, catching the football- I thought that all the guys progressed really well. I’m pleased with their effort, their focus, and intention coming into every practice. I think we left with a good idea of the guys who could step up and help us in the fall.”

So, who are some of the guys Whittingham expects to contribute in 2024?

Welcome Back, Brant Kuithe

Perhaps the most obvious answer out of the bunch is Brant Kuithe who has been with the program since 2018 and has a deep, working knowledge of offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig’s system that’s been in place since 2019.

“I’ll tell you this,” Whittingham said. “It’s great to see him back out there playing football and making plays. You see the Brant Kuithe we’ve seen over the past several years making plays. He had, I thought, an outstanding spring from a run blocking perspective. He’s bulked up a little bit- playing over 235 lbs. and I think we will see about Brant being back when we line up against Southern Utah.”

 

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A New King In Town?

While Kuithe spent 2023 unavailable still recovering from a knee injury he sustained in the 2022 season, a new king began his rise. Auburn transfer Landen King to be exact.

“Landen’s deal is becoming a better run blocker,” Whittingham said. “We’ve seen what he can do as a receiving tight end- you saw flashes of it last year. He made some really nice plays- he has really good ball skills. You feel like when the ball is up there it’s a 50/50 bal that he’s coming down with it. He’s got really good length. We do need to continue to build his bulk. We need to get him up to that true tight end size. That will be a big focus for him between now and when training camp starts.”

Beamer, Benz, Or Bentley, Utah’s TE Room Is Never Empty

A name that has been thrown around a lot, but fans haven’t seen much of since he arrived on campus last season is Dallen Bentley.

Unfortunately, Bently was one of Utah’s many “walking wounded” in 2023 which limited his production. However, he’s better now and Whittingham is optimistic about his future in 2024.

“I would say the one guy who made the most progress was Dallen,” Whittingham said. “He had some injury issues in the fall. He kept reaggravating a hamstring and so he didn’t really get to join the travel squad until we had about five games left in the season. The growth he’s made from then till now- I’m really, really pleased with him. I definitely think he’s a guy who will play for us.

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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Spring Ball Review: A Look At Utah Football’s Tight Ends