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SALT LAKE CITY — The writing was already on the wall before the season started: Utah tight end Brant Kuithe was going to the NFL at the end of the season.
But a season-ending ACL injury against Arizona State made the decision much more difficult.
Kuithe could prepare for the NFL draft amid a typical nine-month rehab — he'd likely not be cleared for any live reps until the end of June and not be able to participate in the NFL combine or pro day workouts — or return for one more season at Utah and delay a dream.
The decision weighed on his mind over the last few months, but on Monday, Kuithe announced his decision to run it back for another season at Utah.
In a video posted to Twitter, Kuithe showed highlights of his play at Utah before it says "third time's a charm." The video confirmed what had become the worst kept secret and was accidentally spoiled on a Pac-12 Network broadcast of an Utah men's basketball game on Thursday.
Kuithe received an NFL Combine invite after last season but chose to stay for another year at Utah in the team's attempt to compete for another Pac-12 title and a potential playoff run.
He was well on his way to another strong season — he had 19 catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns in four games — and added to his NFL stock, but the season-ending injury derailed his season, and ultimately his plans. But he has another opportunity to showcase his skills with his return to Utah.
Kuithe hinted at a return in a tweet after Utah won its second Pac-12 championship, but didn't officially say anything until Jan. 9.
On Sunday night, fellow tight end Thomas Yassmin announced on Instagram his return to Utah, as well. The Australian native and former rugby player had long considered to end his collegiate career but recently shifted his mindset. During a media session ahead of the Rose Bowl, Yassmin said he was leaning on coming back to Utah.