Expectations are high for Lander Barton in his first year with the Utes.

The 6-foot-4 linebacker is a legacy player for Utah, for one. He’s also one of the highest-rated recruits to ever sign with the program. The blue-chipper was a top-100 prospect in the 2022 class, according to the 247 Composite. And he’s expected to start in his first year in the program.

For all those reasons, the folks at On3 Sports have Barton on their Preseason Freshman All-American team.

On3’s Charles Power had this to say on Barton’s game:

Lander Barton has the potential to be one of the next defensive stars at Utah. It appears to be a question of when, not if the true freshman fills the void left by All-American linebacker Devin Lloyd‘s departure to the NFL. Barton is currently competing for a starting job and figures to see extensive action as a true freshman. The Utah and NFL legacy is physically and technically advanced at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds. He was a big rankings riser for On3 and finished as a five-star prospect and No. 28 overall in the On300 following a standout showing at the All-American Bowl in January. Barton’s ability to play in space and cover at his size is unique among young linebackers.

Barton has flashed in fall camp. With Devin Lloyd and Nephi Sewell moving on from last year’s team, there’s plenty of snaps to be had in his first year. His readiness for the college game always figured to make him a likely candidate for early playing time, but his confidence as a young player has also stood out to his coaches.

“He is a lot more confident,” defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley said earlier in camp. “You can tell in how they communicate with others, normally young guys aren’t the ones talking and yelling, but (Barton)’s done a lot of that, he’s much more confident and comfortable.”

Barton will make his debut for Utah on Sept. 3 when the team takes on the Florida Gators in Gainesville.