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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton football produces next level signees

Feb 03, 2022 10:36AM ● By Jerry Christensen

Tyler Knaak committed to play for Utah. (Blair Angulo/247Sports)

By Jerry Christensen | [email protected]

The Brighton High School football team produced three top recruits to high-level college football programs this season. 

“The attention that we got from universities across the nation speaks to the development that we have seen in our programs” said Justin Hemm, head football coach at Brighton.  

Lander Barton, a standout four-star recruit is listed as a 6-foot-4, 220-pound linebacker. His skillset isn’t limited to a single position as evidenced by his varied presence on the Brighton field over the past seasons. He is also a prolific basketball player averaging 19.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game during junior basketball season. The No. 2 recruit from the entire state of Utah, Lander was recruited by 15 major college programs including most of the PAC12, Notre Dame, LSU, Nebraska and Michigan. Coach Jim Harbaugh of the University of Michigan made a special trip to Utah to see Barton and the Bengals play at Murray on a cold November Friday. Barton signed with the University of Utah following his parents and siblings who played for the Utes.

Jacob Reece is a 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive guard. His was a choice between Utah State and Arizona—both made formal offers to the Bengal team leader. In mid-December he signed to play for the Wildcats and attend the University of Arizona.

Tyler Knaak, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive tackle was literally head and shoulders above much of his competition. He had a similar advantage as a state wrestler for Brighton standing on the podium as a state placer last February. Eleven college football programs made offers to bring Knaak’s talent and stature to their teams. Among them were Arizona, Oregon State, Virginia, Arizona State, USC and Vanderbilt. He chose to sign with the University of Utah on Dec. 15. 

“There isn’t a better PAC-12 team to become a part of than the University of Utah,” Knaak said.