Utah Utes

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20:  Wide receiver Delshawn McClellon #10 of the Utah Utes catches a touchdown pass in the end zone against safety Trent Matthews #16 of the Colorado State Rams during the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 20, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Delshawn McClellon transferring from Utes for final season

Leave a comment

Another day, another senior deciding to use his final season of eligibility elsewhere.

The latest to do as much is Delshawn McClellon, who took to Instagram Tuesday to confirm that he has decided to leave Utah and finish his collegiate career at an undetermined locale. While the wide receiver gave no reason in the post for his decision, it’s likely based in part at seeking a better opportunity for more playing time.

McClellon will be leaving the Utes as a graduate, meaning he could play immediately in 2016 if another FBS school is his next stop.

You have been good to me Utah, met some real people and created great memories over the past four years. Couldn’t be more thankful for them helping me out with my situation years back. Crazy to think I’ll be suiting up with someone else next season but, I got to do what’s best for me.

“You have been good to me Utah, met some real people and created great memories over the past four years,” the receiver wrote on the social media website. “Couldn’t be more thankful for them helping me out with my situation years back. Crazy to think I’ll be suiting up with someone else next season but, I got to do what’s best for me.”

McClellon, who’s listed in his official bio as Utah’s fastest player (4.37 40), played in 31 games the last three years after redshirting as a true freshman.  The California native finishes his Utes career with eight receptions for 110 yards.

Utah gives Kyle Whittingham two-year contract extension

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2015, file photo, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham looks on in the second half during an NCAA college football game against Colorado, in Salt Lake City. Utah plays BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File
Leave a comment

Following a 10-3 season that saw Utah climb in the rankings and come closer to competing for a Pac-12 title, Utah has agreed to extend the contract of head coach Kyle Whittingham by two years. The newly extended contract for Whittingham now runs through the 2020 season, and Whittingham receives a nice raise as a result. Whittingham will be paid $3.3 million per year during the course of the contract.

“We are excited about the contract extension for Coach Whittingham and look forward to continued success in the Pac-12 Conference under his leadership,” Utah director of athletics Dr. Chris Hill said in a released statement.“

“I am grateful for the support and commitment shown by Chris Hill and President Pershing with this contract extension. It gives further stability to our football program and what we are trying to accomplish,” said Whittingham. “We are excited about the future here at Utah and the recruiting class we will sign next Wednesday.”

Just as noted in an earlier story today about Notre Dame extending the contract of Brian Kelly, the timing of this announcement is pretty perfect. It gives Whittingham some extra job security he can show to recruits still mulling a decision to play for Utah for the next four years.

Based on 2015 coaching salaries, Utah will now make Whittingham the Pac-12’s third highest-paid coach in the conference, trailing Washington’s Chris Petersen ($3.4 million) and UCLA’s Jim Mora ($3.35 million). That standing could quickly change at any time though depending on what other schools do with their salaries. For the sake of comparison, Stanford’s David Shaw is among the lowest-paid coaches in the Pac-12, earning $2.2 million per year, third lowest in the conference according to 2015 salaries despite winning three Pac-12 championships over the last five years. It should also be noted USC does not disclose their salary info, although it should be expected Clay Helton is not getting paid as lucrativly as the other coaches with a longer track record as a head coach.

Whittingham is second in Utah history for coaching victories with 94, trailing only Ike Armstrong’s 141 wins from 1925 through 1949. He has coached Utah to a record of 94-46, which includes a strong 8-1 bowl record and four top 25 finishes. Whittingham has also guided the program through a successful move from the Mountain West Conference into the Pac-12, and has shown the ability to build a team that can win in the new power conference home of the program. Utah got off to a strong start last season and climbed the polls to as high as No. 3 in the AP poll, but the Utes hit a wall down the stretch and lost some key Pac-12 games to prevent them from competing for the Pac-12 championship. The improvement in a division thought to be loaded with competition did not fly under the radar.

SEC, Ohio State tops on Carolina, Denver Super Bowl rosters

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29:  Former Tennesse quarterback Peyton Manning and current quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts is honored alongside his former college coach Phillip Fulmer before the start of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on October 29, 2005 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Getty Images
5 Comments

Cam Newton may be hurtling toward history, but the former Auburn quarterback will not be the lone player representing the SEC in next month’s Super Bowl.  In fact, he’s far, far from it.

As you may have heard, Newton’s Carolina Panthers are set to square off with Peyton Manning‘s Denver Broncos in the 50th Super Bowl Feb. 3.  Manning and Newton are two of and FBS-best 30 former SEC players who are on the two teams’ rosters, which includes those on the 53-man, reserved/injured list, practice squad, reserved/suspended by commissioner and reserve/future squad.

The Pac-12 is next with 23, followed by the Big Ten (21) and ACC (17).  The final Power Five conference, the Big 12, has 10, three less than the Mountain West’s 13.  The AAC, with eight, is the only Group of Five league to come close to double digits.  The MAC, meanwhile, is the only conference to be shutout, while all of the other divisions in the NCAA combined for 18 players.

Nearly every SEC team is represented in this year’s big game, the lone exception being Vanderbilt.  Of the dozen schools in the Pac-12, only Arizona and Washington State are missing.  Both the ACC and Big Ten have 11 of their 14 teams in the game, the lone exceptions being Clemson, Louisville and Virginia Tech for the former and Illinois, Minnesota and Rutgers for the latter.

One of those B1G schools that’s in, Nebraska, has had at least one player on a Super Bowl roster for 23 straight years, the longest active streak for any FBS program.

Ohio State easily outdistances individual schools with seven, three more than the four each for Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oregon State and Tennessee.  Alabama, Arizona State, Colorado State, Georgia, Nevada, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, USC and Utah.

A total of 20 schools have two players each, including Coastal Carolina, the only non-FBS program in the group.  The other 19 includes Arkansas, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, San Diego State, South Carolina, Stanford, Troy, Tulane, Washington and Wisconsin.

Alabama tops final AP poll; Big Ten leads all conferences with six top 25 teams

20 Comments

The final Associated Press top 25 of the college football season has been published, with No. 1 Alabama claiming all 61 first-place votes following its College Football Playoff national championship victory over No. 2 Clemson. The Crimson Tide and Tigers swapped spots atop the poll, the first since conference championship weekend in early December.

The final poll saw Pac-12 champion Stanford move up to No. 3 thanks to a dominating showing in the Rose Bowl against No. 9 Iowa. No. 4 Ohio State climbed up three spots with a win over No. 11 Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. The next spots were filled by the other two participants in the College Football Playoff, with No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 6 Michigan State each falling in the polls. The top 10 also included No. 7 TCU, No. 8 Houston and No. 10 Ole Miss.

The Big Ten placed six teams in the final AP Top 25 poll of the season, one more than the SEC’s five. Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Northwestern all finished in the final poll with a combined record of 66-14. The Big Ten also had three teams finish in the top 10, although both Michigan State and Iowa suffered two of the worst bowl losses by any team during the bowl season. the Big 12 finished with four teams in the final top 25, and the ACC and Pac-12 each placed three in the final ranking. The American Athletic Conference was represented by Houston and Navy and Western Kentucky carried the Conference USA banner in the final poll.

Final AP Top 25 Teams By Conference

  1. Big Ten – 6
  2. SEC – 5
  3. Big 12 – 4
  4. ACC – 3
    Pac-12 – 3
  5. AAC – 2
  6. C-USA – 1

Final AP Top 25 Poll of the 2015 Season

  1. Alabama (61 first-place votes)
  2. Clemson
  3. Stanford
  4. Ohio State
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Michigan State
  7. TCU
  8. Houston
  9. Iowa
  10. Ole Miss
  11. Notre Dame
  12. Michigan
  13. Baylor
  14. Florida State
  15. North Carolina
  16. LSU
  17. Utah
  18. Navy
  19. Oregon
  20. Oklahoma State
  21. Wisconsin
  22. Tennessee
  23. Northwestern
  24. Western Kentucky
  25. Florida

BYU WRs coach Guy Holliday leaves for same post at Utah

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 19:  Head coach Kyle Whittingham of the Utah Utes celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating the Brigham Young Cougars 35-28 to win the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 19, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

Utah got the best of BYU in the on-field Holy War this bowl season, and now the Utes have gotten over off the field on their in-state rivals at the start of the offseason as well.

In a press release, Utah announced that it has hired Guy Holliday as its new wide receivers coach.  The past three seasons, Holliday has been at BYU coaching the same position.

Holliday replaces Taylor Stubblefield, who it was announced last month would not be returning to Kyle Whittingham‘s staff.

“Guy Holliday has a wealth of experience at the collegiate level and is a proven commodity, both as a wide receivers coach and as a recruiter,” said Whittingham. “Lewis did a great job coaching the defensive line at Hawaii before joining our staff and he also played the position for us, so it should make for a seamless transition. Freddie has been in our system for several years now and has been immersed in virtually every aspect of our program and is ready to take the next step as a position coach. With these moves our staff is now complete and we can turn our full attention to finishing off our 2016 recruiting class.”

This will be Holliday’s second coaching stop at a Power Five program, and first since he was receivers coach at Mississippi State from 2003-06. Holliday’s other stops include UTEP (2008-12) and Western Michigan (2000-02).

In addition to Holliday’s hiring, the Utes also announced that Lewis Powell, who coached tight ends last season, will take over as tight ends coach, while Fred Whittingham Jr., the coach’s brother who was Utah’s director of player personnel the past four years, will take over Powell’s old post. These moves come a couple of days after defensive coordinator John Pease retired and was replaced by Utes safeties coach Morgan Scalley.