Utah fans know and love Brant Kuithe. The larger college football public might not be as familiar. Kirk Herbstreit thinks they should get to know him.

The ESPN commentator named Kuithe as his best-kept secret in college football during his annual ‘Herbie’ awards show on ESPN earlier this week.

“This is a team that people just don’t respect on a national level, they run an offense sometimes in 12 and 13 personnel, meaning multiple tight ends,” Herbstreit said. “If you see Utah play, you better watch out for No. 80. Guy’s been around forever and he’s gonna have a great year.”

Kuithe, a fifth-year senior tight end for Utah this fall, is one of the Utes’ most dynamic offensive playmakers. He led the way in receiving last season, finishing with 611 yards and six scores on 50 catches while earning a spot on the All-Pac-12 Second Team. This spring, he spent a ton of time working split out as a receiver. With Dalton Kincaid also in the tight end room, Utah can get creative with its senior pass-catcher this upcoming season.

He’s back hoping to help the team to a College Football Playoff appearance after a Pac-12 title and a Rose Bowl appearance last season.

“Keep in mind, Cam Rising comes back at quarterback. Tavion Thomas comes back in the backfield. They’ve got big, strong offensive lines every year for Kyle Whittingham out west. So, everything’s in place for them to be now a veteran team and no more so than No. 80,” Herbstreit continued. “Like I said, he’s been there now for three or four years, being one of the mainstays, leading this team in receiving. I think a lot of us were really surprised somewhat he didn’t test the waters and go out to the NFL — he has that kind of ability — but he comes back. Again, I think he’s one of the best-kept secrets.

“By the way, the Utah program, the Utah offense, Kyle Whittingham, they’re all the best-kept secrets. I just love that program.”

Kuithe and the seventh-ranked Utes open the season on the road next Saturday against Florida at 4 p.m. PT.