UteZone Football Summer Countdown: #6 Bradlee Anae
(Photo: James Durrant, UteZone, 247Sports)
Each summer, the UteZone staff votes to rank the most significant players on the Utah football team for the coming season. The criteria for voting was largely based on two factors: performance in the 2017 season, performance in 2018 spring football, and projected performance this fall. All nine UteZone staff members voted for 35 players. Once the votes were tabulated, a weighted point system was used to determine the leaders.
For the next 6 days, UteZone will feature a player a day, justifying why he was voted to that position. At the end of the countdown, UteZone staffers will reveal their full ballots. Today, we focus on number 6 of the countdown, Junior defensive end, Bradlee Anae.
Tale of the Tape: Junior, defensive end, 6-3, 254 pounds
Highest Ballot Ranking: 4
Lowest Ballot Ranking: 10
Career Stats: Sacks - 9, Total tackles - 43, Tackles for loss - 12, Forced fumbles - 3
2017 Stats: Sacks - 7, Total tackles - 39, Tackles for loss - 10, Forced fumbles - 3
What We Saw This Spring: Anae had a good spring by all accounts. It’s no secret that he has always possessed the raw athletic tools that you want to see out of an edge rusher. We noticed this spring that he spent a lot of time focusing on the details of his position, including pass rush techniques and a lot of time working with the coaches on improving how he uses his hands. It has been noted by several Utezone staff that he passed the eye test and looked like he had spent a lot of time in the weight room. He spent a lot of time going up against Utah’s projected best offensive lineman, Jackson Barton - which should be mutually beneficial for both players when the season rolls around.
What We Expect This Fall: For Anae to pick up where he left off last season. For any other defensive lineman, a sophomore campaign where one was able to accumulate 7 sacks and 10 tackles for loss is a really, really good season. It's a little different though when you're following in the footsteps of former defensive line standouts such as Nate Orchard and his monstrous 18.5 sack Senior season, and Hunter Dimick and his 14.5 sack Senior season. That being said, it’s not out of the question - and it’s safe to say that most people are expecting a double digit sack total from Anae by season’s end - which will be extremely challenging, but Anae has all of the tools to make it happen.
Worst Case Scenario for Anae: An injury before the season puts a halt on his progress, and his spot gets taken by one of the multitude of Utah’s talented defensive linemen.
Best Case Scenario for Anae: Morris Trophy? All Pac-12? Second coming of Nate Orchard? Assuming he continues to spend the time working with coaches on the finer details of his position, Anae’s potential is limitless. He possesses all of the physical and athletic traits that any coach could want out of a defensive lineman. Add in his time spent in the weight room, working on the mental aspect of his position and sharpening up his technique should pay big dividends for Anae’s performance coming up this season.