Utah football: Utes meet their needs with 2012 class of recruits
Utah's 2012 football signing class has the potential to finish as strong as its season. The Utes, who finished the year winning five of their last six games, are still in the running for several top recruits who won't make their decisions known until signing day on Wednesday.
Carlos Lozano, a 6-foot-7, 375-pound tackle out of East Los Angeles College, will choose between the Utes, Stanford and Washington State on signing day. Alphonso Marsh and Brandon Beaver, corners who are teammates at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., both have the Utes on their final list of possibles and will decide on signing day.
In addition, Hiva Lutui, a guard out of Texas, and Brandon Fanaika, an offensive lineman out of Pleasant Grove who committed to Stanford in December, could still be in play for the Utes as well.
If the Utes can get a few of those players to sign, Utah's coaches might celebrate signing day with as much back-slapping as they did their overtime bowl win over Georgia Tech.
But even without the last-minute decisions, the Utes should fare well enough to rank in about the middle of the Pac-12, according to those who follow national recruiting.
Randy Taylor, who serves as director of recruiting for the National College Scouting Association, one of several college recruiting ranking sites, said the Utes currently rank in the middle of the Pac-12, ahead of Colorado, Washington, Arizona and Arizona State and behind the West Coast schools.
However, he noted the Utes have a tradition of finding diamonds in the rough, which means the class could have a higher value once its impact is determined on the field.
The Utes are hoping that is the case, too, as they made a point to go after several offensive linemen and corners to fill needs.
Marc Pouvave, an offensive lineman out of Southwestern Community College and Visesio Salt, a defensive lineman who prepped at Brighton before playing for Mount San Antonio Community College, are two of the players who are expected to help the Utes immediately.
Other players considered top gets in the class are junior college players who have already signed, running back Kelvin York and defensive end Koliniasi Leota.
"Coach Whittingham does what he always does fills needs and finds players who will develop in their system," Taylor said. "I especially like what the Utes have done in the trenches. The J.C. kids add immediate maturity on the D-line, and the seven offensive linemen will give the team depth and future studs up front. My two favorite additions might be the corner [Justin] Thomas with his upside and the downhill J.C. back York."
The Utes did have some disappointments. Greg Allen, a corner out of Texas who committed to the Utes, is expected to sign with Kansas, and Alexandru Ceachir, a lineman out of Santa Monica College, switched his future from the Utes to UCLA after Norm Chow left the Utah coaching staff.
Still, the Utes addressed most of their needs with linemen and corners, added to their stable of running backs with York and should sign a solid quarterback in Travis Wilson out of San Clemente, Calif., along with local star quarterback Chase Hansen out of Lone Peak High School.
Overall the Utes have a solid class secured, said Brandon Huffman, the West Regional recruiting manager for FOX Sports/Scout.com.
"Utah has done an excellent job in recruiting needs and in balancing their class," he said. "They have a commit at literally every position they need, save special teams. It's an excellent year for linemen in the West and the Utes have seven commits, including Jeremiah Poutsai, the No. 2 ranked player in Nevada. The Utes had to beat out several top-end programs for him, including a late push from Oregon."
Utah's projected signings
Name Position Hometown School Ht/Wt Comment
Brian Allen WR La Marque, Texas La Marque H.S. 6-3/200 Utah's engineering program a selling point
J.J. Dielman OL Phoenix Desert Vista H.S. 6-4/240 Solid commit, Utes envision him at center
Hunter Dimick DL Syracuse, Utah Syracuse H.S. 6-4/250 Local talent helps line
Moses Folauhola DL/LB West Valley City Hunter H.S. 6-0/240 Could play on line or linebacker
Chase Hansen QB Highland Lone Peak H.S. 6-3/197 Mission plans on hold
Reshawn Hooker LB Fontana, Calif. A.B. Miller H.S. 5-11/195 Solid player helps depth at LB
Jake Jackson LB Encinitas, Calif. La Costa Canyon H.S. 6-3/205 Chose the Utes over BYU
Lio Lafaele OL Corona, Calif. Centennial H.S. 6-4/315 Has the heft Utes like on line
Austin Lee S Sandy Alta H.S. 6-0/185 Also has played corner for two years
Koliniasi Leota DE Walnut, Calif. Mt. San Antonio J.C. 6-5/275 Granger grad already signed
Zach Lindsay OL Kaysville Davis H.S. 6-7/250 Switched commitment from BYU to Utah
Delshawn McClellon WR Cerritos, Calif. Gahr H.S. 5-9/165 Not a lot of height but speedy
Reggie Porter CB Amite City, La. Amite H.S. 6-1/195 Two-way starter, earned district honors at QB
Nua Poteki OL Cottonwood Heights Brighton H.S. 6-5/310 Had a good showing at All-Poly Camp
Cedrick Poutasi OL Las Vegas Desert Pines H.S. 6-5/325 Also visited Arizona State
Marc Pouvave OL Chula Vista, Calif. Southwestern C.C. 6-5/340 Also had an offer from San Diego State
Visesio Salt DL Walnut, Calif. Mt. San Antonio J.C. 6-3 340 Originally committed to Florida
Justin Thomas CB Orange, Texas West Orange-Stark H.S. 5-9/170 Had offers from Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma St.
Sione Tupouata DL Oakland, Calif. Snow College 6-4/255 Signed with Utes out of H.S. before going JC
Vaha Vainuku DL Salt Lake City East H.S. 6-3/295 Plans to go on mission before playing for Utes
Jeremiah Valoaga TE Oxnard, Calif. Channel Islands H.S. 6-6/220 Will grayshirt next season
Travis Wilson QB San Clemente, Calif. San Clemente H.S. 6-6/205 Picked the Utes over Washington
Kelvin York RB Fullerton, Calif. Fullerton College 6-0/220 Former USC commit already signed