Team preview: Utah

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Originally Published: July 28, 2004
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For the better part of the last decade, Utah players appeared in a big way at NFL draft time, NFL awards announcements and during the Super Bowl.

The school produced three first-round draft picks (defensive tackle Luther Ellis in 1995, wide receiver Kevin Dyson in 1998, offensive lineman Jordan Gross 2003), 2000 AFC Rookie of the Year Mike Anderson, three members of the 2004 Carolina Panthers Super Bowl lineup (Dyson, Gross and Steve Smith) and Jamal Anderson, who led Atlanta to the 1999 Super Bowl.

After the breakthrough 1994 season with a No. 8 (coaches poll) finish, the Utes typically underachieved. Sure there were three bowl games and the Utes tied for a share of the Inaugural Mountain West title in 1999. But Utah never represented either the Western Athletic Conference or Mountain West in the league champ's bowl berth until Urban Meyer arrived for the 2003 season.