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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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California DT has Utes rated high on his list

The Utah Utes have linemen high on their want list for their 2013 recruiting class. The good news for them is one of the better ones in the west still has them high on his list.

Kyle Peko, a defensive tackle out of Cerritos Community College in Cerritos, Calif., said Tuesday he ranks Utah among his favorite schools along with Michigan State, Boise State and Washington State.

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He is visiting Washington State this week and Boise State next week and will make a decision in January.

His visit with Utah last week went well.

"I had a great time," he said. "I felt like I fit in with all the guys really well and fit into their defensive scheme so they are high on my list right now."

The 6-foot-2, 290-pound Peko also said he had a great visit with Michigan State.

"I loved everything about that program," he said. "It's a good program and the coaching staff is good just like Utah. I have a tough decision coming my way."

Peko, who is being recruited by Aaron Roderick, plans to enroll in May.

One thing that might help the Utes win the battle for Peko is that his coach, Frank Mazzotta, played for Utah (1964-65) and started his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Utes.

Mazzotta said Peko makes up for a lack of bulk with his athleticism.

"He is a real athletic kid," he said. "He would fit in there really well."

The Utes have more than 20 players committed for their 2013 class, but expect some shifting around as players change their minds and schools drop some recruits for higher-rated players.

Already the Utes have backed off on two guys, running back/corner Andrew Ballin out of Fresno, Calif., and Charlie Eteaki, a running back out of Anaheim, Calif.

Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei and returner Reggie Dunn earned more awards Tuesday as both were named first-team All-Americans by Athlon Sports. Dunn was named a first-team All-American by CBSsports.com Monday and Lotulelei was a second-team selection.

- Lya Wodraska

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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