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Report: Utah OL Jeremiah Poutasi will enter 2015 NFL Draft

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The Utah football program is fresh off an improbable nine-win season and bowl game win but will head into 2015 without one of its standout offensive linemen.

Junior offensive tackle Jeremiah Poutasi is set to bypass his senior season and declare for the 2015 NFL Draft, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, confirming multiple reports Friday.

A source told the paper that Poutasi had not hired an agent as of late December but that there is a "zero percent chance" Poutasi would return to the team next season.

At 6-foot-6, 330 pounds, Poutasi was a key part of the Utes offense this season, paving the way for star tailback Devontae Booker (who also faces a draft decision in the coming weeks) and protecting the blindside of Las Vegas Bowl MVP quarterback Travis Wilson by allowing just three sacks all year long. Poutasi has started 26 straight -- and 35 overall -- for the Utes and various spots along the line, including left and right tackle.

Utah co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson, a national championship-winning head coach with NFL experience, once told CFB 24/7 that Poutasi has the physical skills to be one of the best offensive tackles he's coached the past few decades. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah studied him earlier this year and noted that Poutasi has excellent size, feet, and upside at the next level.

A second-team all-Pac-12 pick, Poutasi would be a significant loss for a Utah offense that still returns the bulk of its 9-4 team but has already lost co-offensive coordinator Dave Christensen this offseason after he was hired as Texas A&M's offensive line coach.

Much like Houston Texans rookie Xavier Su'a-Filo, Poutasi is expected to transition from an offensive tackle in the Pac-12 to guard in the NFL.

The deadline for college underclassmen to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft is Jan. 15. The draft itself will take place in Chicago from April 30-May 2.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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