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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Losing Woods Cross player to Stanford stings for Utes

The Utes have a strong local flair in their 2013 recruiting class with five commitments from Utah players, but they did miss out on a big one when Sean Barton, a safety at Woods Cross, committed to Stanford Sunday over the Utes and Washington.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Barton was considered one of the top players in the state.

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Barton, who thanked several members of Utah's staff for their recruiting efforts, including Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake, will serve a mission before attending Stanford.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham has increased the Utes' recruiting emphasis in places such as Texas and California during his reign. This year, the Utes have picked up the recruiting in Hawaii and the other islands because Whittingham feels the Utes can compete for the top guys now that Utah is a Pac-12 team.

Still, even with those efforts, getting the top recruits in Utah has and always will be a priority for the Utes, so Barton's commitment surely stings, especially since he is headed to another Pac-12 school.

Coaches love to use the cliche 'you win some and lose some' in recruiting, but this loss in particular will hurt for awhile.

Here is Utah's current commitment list:

Myron Aiava DE Westminster, Calif. Westminster H.S. 6-4 240 Avid basketball player as well as standout in football

D.J. Dean CB Newton, Texas, Newton H.S. 5-10 175 Says his commitment is solid, but hasn't ruled out other visits

Siale Havili Fakailoatonga TE Salt Lake City, Utah Cottonwood H.S. 6-4 215 Also has an offer from UCLA

Haile Falemaka OT Salt Lake City, Utah Cottonwood H.S. 6-4 250 Committed to the Utes following junior day

Harrison Handley TE Sandy, Utah Alta H.S. 6-6 210 Went with the Utes over BYU and Utah State

Connor Manning QB Lake Forest, Calif., El Toro H.S. 6-2 190 Comfortable in spread offense, recruited by passing game coordinator Roderick

Uaea Masina LB Salt Lake City, Utah Brighton H.S. 6-4 210 Close bond with Utah defensive coordinator Sitake swayed his decision

Filipo Mokofisi LB Woods Cross, Utah Woods Cross H.S. 6-3 210 Could play a year before serving a mission

X'avier Shepherd WR Lakewood, Calif. Lakewood H.S. 5-11 175 Picked the Utes over several Pac-12 schools

Leroy Sitake Tanoai OL Sherman Oaks, Calif. Notre Dame H.S. 6-4 280 Plans to serve a mission before enrolling at Utah

Sam Tevi DE Euless, Texas 6-3 250 Athletic player who chose Utes over several Pac-12 schools

Marcus Williams RB Las Vegas, Nev. Durango H.S. 5-11 205 Hopes to maintain Utah's tradition of successful players from Nevada

&n



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