SALT LAKE CITY – The Phil Steele College Football Annual Preview will be available from July 4. One of Steele’s preview covers that “experts can’t live without” features a pair of quarterbacks from here in Utah.
BYU flagman Jaren Hall and Utah’s Cameron Rising are on the cover of “West Southern.” Steele, in partnership with Learfield IMG College, released 14 covers. This is the first time since 2019 that Steele has released regional covers for his information-packed book.
Hall and Rising are on the cover with USC DL Tuli Tuipulotu and UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
History of BYU and Utah Players on Phil Steele Preview Covers
Rising is the third Utah player to appear on a Phil Steele magazine cover. He joins DL Bradlee Anae (2018 & 2019) and RB Marty Johnson (2003).
Like Utah, with Hall on Phil Steele’s 2022 edition, he becomes the third BYU player to earn a cover spot. Hall is the first since QB Tanner Mangum in 2017, then LB Kyle Van Noy in 2013.
Last season, Steele had Utah at No. 15 in his projected Top 40 ranking, and the Utes finished at No. 12, winning the Pac-12 conference.
For BYU, Steele had the Cougars 50th in his rankings. A year after losing quarterback Zach Wilson to the NFL, BYU exceeded those expectations by finishing with a 10-3 record and a final ranking of 19th in the AP Top 25 poll.
Great expectations for the 2022 season
Utah enters the 2022 season as a potential Top 10 team. Steele predicts the Utes will be No. 8 in the AP poll to open this fall. Utah opens the season on the road against Florida in the Swamp on September 3.
BYU also has high expectations for this season. This fall marks BYU’s final season as an FBS Independent before joining the Big 12 in 2023. The Cougars open their season in the Sunshine State against the USF Bulls of the AAC.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.