Lander Barton commits to play for Utah football

Barton announced his decision via the Instagram account of his sister, Utes volleyball star Dani Drews.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brighton High School linebacker Lander Barton at football practice in Cottonwood Heights on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.

Lander Barton, the highest-rated uncommitted high school football recruit in Utah, is staying home.

Barton committed to play at the University of Utah, per a post on his sister Dani Drews’s Instagram account. He will join his three siblings and two parents, all of whom are either current or former Utes student-athletes.

Barton was choosing among Utah, Michigan, Texas and Oregon. His parents, particularly his mother Mikki, had been open about their desire for Barton to stay in-state. Leaving would have meant the youngest of four children essentially giving up spending time on the family ranch, which he considers his “favorite place in the world.”

“I’m very happy for Lander, the Barton family and Utah football,” Brighton High School football coach Justin Hemm told The Salt Lake Tribune in a text message. “You cannot ask for a better person or player in your program. I look forward to watching him as a Ute!”

Barton played high school football for the Bengals, who lost in the first round of the 5A playoffs to Orem last month. He is a four-star recruit with two older brothers, Cody and Jackson, who play in the NFL.