Utes in the NFL: The Colts Bright Future and Heartbreak in Seattle


University of Utah senior defensive back Julian Blackmon (23) celebrates after stopping Washington State on their fourth down during an NCAA Football game at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Justin Prather, Sports Writer


Weeks two and three of the NFL’s 2020 season are wrapped up and we are seeing some standout performances from former Utes. The early season also saw numerous injuries across the league, leaving Coaches and fantasy managers alike praying for better days ahead. This installment of Utes in the NFL brings hope for one defensive back’s future and pays respect to two fallen former Ute boys.

Julian Blackmon

One of Utah’s most heartbreaking moments of last season was watching Julian Blackmon go down in the 2019 Pac-12 Championship game against Oregon with a torn ACL. He would later go on to be drafted in the third round by the Colts but not be taken off the non-football injury list until August 31. Blackmon missed game one after being slowly brought into practice leading up to the season opener. In week two against the Minnesota Vikings, Blackmon proved he was worth waiting for, making two tackles and breaking up a pass resulting in an interception for teammate Khari Willis. The drive resulted in a field goal. If that’s not enough to make you fall in love with this young safety, perhaps this gem from the Colts training camp will.

Zack Moss

Zack Moss proved himself a diligent backfield partner to Devin Singletary in his first two outings with Buffalo. While Moss hasn’t had the explosive rushing performance he was known for here in Utah — his NFL career-long at the moment is 14-yards — it’s important to remember that he’s a rookie and is splitting time with another great young back. Buffalo’s offense as a whole has been rocking under the leadership of QB Josh Allen, and given the time Moss will continue to improve and find his place in the system. That being said, only three weeks into the season the NFL is having a rough time keeping players healthy. Unfortunately, Moss found his way onto the growing list of injured players before Sunday’s game against the Rams with a reported toe problem. His return for this coming Sunday? Not likely.

Marquise Blair

Personally, my favorite defensive player from Utah in more recent history Marquise Blair boomed in his rookie season with the Seahawks last year playing 14 games, recording 32 tackles — 24 of them solo and two forced fumbles. Blair moved from safety to nickelback for week one against the Atlanta Falcons, making four of his seven tackles by himself and forcing a fumble. He was set to repeat his performance in week two against Cam Newton and the Patriots but left the game early with a season-ending torn ACL, Coach Pete Carroll calling it, “A big blow.”


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