Utah: Top 20 Student-Athletes to Watch in 2015-16


While most remember Boise State and TCU as the premier BCS-busters of the past decade, it was the Alex Smith and Urban Meyer-led Utah Utes that crashed the big kids’ parties before it became cool. In addition, the Beehive State can lay claim to being the original home of “Quarterback U.”

We ran the Value Add Sports calculations on all returning athletes in the state and emailed sports writers and other experts in Utah to help rank the 25 state players to watch on a list we will update here.

With names like Jim McMahon, Ty Detmer, Steve Young, and Steve Sarkisian in its lore, Brigham Young University has seen its fair share of gifted passers. But they’ve never seen a signal-caller like Taysom Hill, who tops our list of student-athletes to watch. While Hill is no slouch with his arm, where the senior really makes his hay is with smashmouth scrambling, a style you don’t see with most dual-threat quarterbacks. After missing more than half of his junior campaign—which saw the Cougars go 4-5 in games he either missed or didn’t finish compared to a 4-0 record with Hill in the lineup—the 232-pounder itches to go out on a high note.

BYU is also home to the king of stat-sheet stuffing  in Kyle Collinsworth, who put up six triple-doubles in one season last year, which shattered the season record and tied the all-time record. Chances are, he’ll be making some history for the Cougars on the hardwood at some point in 2015-16.

Moving to the high school ranks, the big name is Frank Jackson, ranked as the Utah’s top player and one of the three or four best guards in the state. Originally committing to BYU before backing off to explore all his options (which most recently included an offer from defending national champion Duke), Jackson has also said that he may take a mission trip prior to beginning his collegiate career (which you could read more about here). Averaging a shade under 27 points a game along with four boards and two assists as a junior, the sharpshooter would be quite the coup for any D-1 hoops program. But for now, he’ll be terrorizing high school teams for one more year.

Also keep an eye on the Utes’ basketball program, with Brandon Taylor, Brekkott Chapman, Jordan Loveridge, and Jakob Poeltl looking to lead Utah to a better finish than last year’s Sweet Sixteen berth.

  1. Taysom Hill, BYU, Football, QB

  2. Jakob Poeltl, Utah, Basketball, C

  3. Kyle Collinsworth, BYU, Basketball, PG (pictured)

  4. Frank Jackson, Highland, UT (Lone Peak) , Basketball, G

  5. Jamie Stokes, Weber State, Track/Field, 1,500m Run

  6. David Collette, Utah St., Basketball, PF

  7. Cole Eisenhour, Utah Valley, Track/Field, 110m High Hurdles

  8. Jalen Moore, Utah St., Basketball, C

  9. Mariah Elmer, Utah, Soccer, Forward

  10. Elisabeth Phillips, BYU, Soccer, Midfielder

  11. Brekkott Chapman, Utah, Basketball, PF

  12. Brandon Taylor, Utah, Basketball, SG

  13. Jordan Loveridge, Utah, Basketball, F

  14. Hunter Dimick, Utah, Football, DE

  15. James McGee, Southern Utah, Basketball, SG

  16. Brendan Bailey, Highland, UT (American Fork), Basketball, F

  17. Gavin Baxter, Provo, UT (Timpview), Basketball, F

  18. Torrey Green, Utah State Aggies, Football, LB

  19. Koby McEwen, Mt. Pleasant, UT (Wasatch Academy), Basketball, G

  20. Jeremy Senglin, Weber State, Basketball, PG