On Sunday, the Utes added some talent to their secondary via the transfer portal.

Clayton Isbell, a former Illinois State defensive back, announced on Twitter he has committed to Utah. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Isbell will have two years of eligibility to use in Salt Lake City.


Isbell gives coach Kyle Whittingham and defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley both an experienced and versatile athlete to deploy in the secondary immediately. He was an FCS Freshman All-America honorable mention and Missouri Valley Conference All-Newcomer Team selection in 2019, posted 20 tackles in four games during the 2020 season (played in the spring of ’21), then was named an FCS Sophomore All-American last fall.

After redshirting in 2018, Isbell spent the entire 2019 season at nickel for the Redbirds. In 15 games, he totaled 23 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a pass breakup.

The following season, Isbell slid back to safety to record 20 tackles, two TFLs, two pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in just four games.

Last season, Isbell started nine games at safety for the Redbirds and ranked fourth on the team in tackles with 62. The St. Charles, Illinois, native tied for the team lead with three interceptions and was also credited with 2.5 TFLs. For his play, he was also named to the All-MVFC Second Team.

The length he possesses combined with the experience of playing—and playing early—at nickel should give Isbell a unique skillset for the Utah coaches to call upon next season.