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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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With Erickson's help, Utes tap Sunshine State for recruits

Technically it is Homecoming week for the Utah Utes, but you could also call it the Dennis Erickson recruiting week too as the Utes are bringing in several players who are giving the Utes a look because of the interest in Erickson, Utah's co-offensive coordinator.

Three players visiting are coming from Miami's Booker T. Washington H.S, the No. 1 ranked high school team in the country in USA Today's rankings.

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Wide receivers Lamar Parker (5-8, 170), who has committed to West Virginia and Deltron Hopkins (5-8, 160), who has committed Appalachian State, will join teammate Nigel Bethel II, (5-8, 168) in visiting the Utes this weekend.

Bethel, who has committed to Miami, said he is interested in visiting the Utes because of Erickson and Utah's affiliation with the Pac-12.

How much consideration he'll give the Utes is still to be determined.

"I won't know until I get there," he said.

Bethel could go a long ways in helping the Utes at corner, a position that is a priority for their recruiting class along with receivers.

Hopkins said he too was interested in Utah because of Erickson and isn't concerned playing ball so far from home.

"I've heard he is an awesome guy and the program is great," Hopkins said.

The Utes are also hosting Juwan Dowels, a 5-11, 160-pound corner out of American Heritage in Plantation, Florida and Brandon Snell, a 6-1, 190-pound receiver out of Garden City Community College in Kansas who prepped at Carol City H.S. in Miami.

Dowels committed to Northern Illinois in July.

Snell committed to Louisville out of high school then de-committed.

Trying to sway the players to change their minds and head west to play football will be an uphill battle for the Utes, but Utah fans have to be encouraged that Erickson's presence is at least opening doors for the Utes in an area known for its football talent.

- 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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