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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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Judging the 2013 class for the Utes, who are the names to remember

Now that the frenzy of signing day has died down, it's time to rate just how the Utes did in their second year as a Pac-12 school.

So to that end, check back in, say, 2015.

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The glorious beauty of signing day is the bios of all the players read like a bunch of all-stars as they tout numerous awards, school records and eye-popping stats.

But as well all know, playing in the Pac-12 is much, much different than playing at the high school or even JC level.

Despite all the ratings, hype and film of players, it is still hard to determine which players will make an impact and which won't.

For instance, out of the 2011 class, who predicted John White to become the player he was for the Utes and defensive back Keith McGill, a highly rated JC player, would have a career hobbled by injuries while Eric Rowe blossomed into a big-time player for the Utes?

As current Utah tight end Jake Murphy so aptly put it on his twitter page, "the best advice for recruits is to leave the star rating system in high school.

If you can play, you can play."

So with that said, out of the players the Utes signed, let's look at which players HAVE to play to help the Utes right away.

The Utes needed help at receiver, with DeVonte Christopher, Reggie Dunn and Luke Matthews all using up their eligibility, as did tight ends David Rolf, Dallin Rogers and Kendrick Moeai.

At 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, Andre Lewis, a signee out of Diablo Valley College, might be the most logical choice to help the Utes. A former basketball standout, Lewis should have the athleticism and size the Utes need to be a playmaker.

Greg Reese, a tight end out of Arizona Western, is an intriguing addition. He didn't play last year so he might be a bit rusty, but he has enrolled and will participate in spring ball which should better his chances for earning playing time next season.

The Utes need help along the offensive line with Sam Brenner, Miles Mason and Tevita Stevens all leaving. Look for Salesi Uhatafe, a Euless, Texas product, to get a chance to earn a position along with Andrew Albers, a lineman from Orange Coast Community College.

Defensively, Utah has to replace linemen Dave Kruger and Star Lotulelei along with Joe Kruger, who is leaving a year early for the NFL. Utah took care of its needs by signing a large group of linemen.

The spot to watch will be how the defensive ends develop, an area that was spotty at times last year despite the presence of Joe Kruger and Nate Fakahafua.

Sam Tevi, a 6-5, 288-pound product out of Euless, Texas could be the guy expected to contend for playing time right away.

Ryan Lacy, Reggie Topps and Moe Lee all have used their eligibility, leaving the corner spot bare.

Davion Orphey, a transfer from Santa Ana College, will participate in spring ball and Tevin Carter, out of LA Southwest College, is also expected to compete early. Hipolito Corporan, a freshman out of Houston, Texas, brings good credentials too.

But as we all know, credentials mean little, it's time to see who can play.

- Lya Wodraska



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