Had a chance to catch up with football coach Kyle Whittingham to talk about the spring practice and what the Utes need to do going forward. I'll have more on the topic in an article tomorrow, but one thing that stuck out to me was the way the Utes are changing the recruiting philosophy as they move into the Pac-10.
The Utes have long held that Utah, Texas and California are their main target areas.
The emphasis on California is even bigger now with the new recruiting assignments given to the coaches. Utah is putting more manpower in California, adding quarterbacks Brian Johnson to that area instead of putting him in Texas.
Whittingham said the change was made because Utah has had good success recruiting in the Houston area, which remains a priority.
"We are giving up some manpower, but we still expect a fair share of signees," he said.
Of note too is Utah's gradual decline in recruiting Hawaii, a trend that started a couple years ago.
Defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake will spend more time recruiting in Utah and in the LA area instead of the islands. That area will be overseen by new defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a.
The Utes' reasoning is it is more efficient to recruit on the mainland and they feel they can make a bigger impact by concentrating here.
Here is a look at how the coaching assignments have changed:
Offensive coordinator Norm Chow - He will be active in California, but Whittingham said he is considered an 'all over national' recruiter.
Receivers coach Aaron Roderick - Remains in California with a concentration on Orange County
Running backs coach Dave Schramm - Remains in California with a concentration on San Diego area
Defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake - Helping in Utah and concentrating on Los Angeles area. Previously was over the Hawaiian Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Los Angeles
Special teams coordinator/cornerbacks coach Jay Hill - Remains main in-state recruiter and also Nevada. New duty is recruiting in Arizona
Quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson - Will recruit north Los Angeles area instead of Dallas, Texas area
Safeties coach Morgan Scalley - Remains main recruiter in Texas with a concentration on Houston area
Defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a - Will recruit in Southwest Los Angeles and Hawaii
Offensive line coach Tim Davis - Bay area
Coaches no longer on staff are offensive line coach Blake Miller (who was recruiting in Texas) and defensive line coach John Pease (who was recruiting in San Fernando Valley to Santa Barbara, Calif. and Arizona).
Aaron Alford, the former running backs coach who is now the director of high school relations was over Colorado and northern California.
Switching topics, but staying California related, Jon Wilner at the Mercury News is reporting Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott asked Fox for about $300 million for the league's broadcasting rights but was turned down.
Wilner also theorizes that the addition of Utah and Colorado might not mean much new money for the league.