Kyle Whittingham knows what USC redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold can do. The Utah coaching saw the potential when Darnold was a sophomore at San Clemente High School in Southern California.
“We were the first offer which amounted to nothing, didn’t do us any good,” Whittingham quipped.
Of course, Darnold’s recruitment was more than three years ago while the Utes were in the early stages of their transition to the Pac-12. They didn’t post a winning record in Pac-12 play until 2014, Darnold’s senior year.
Whittingham said the Utes might’ve had a better chance courting a highly-sought after quarterbacks such as Darnold now than they did back then.
Well, this past weekend the Utes had a prized quarterback recruit from Southern California who wears the same number as Darnold on campus. Jack Tuttle, the San Diego resident and Mission Hills High star signal caller, made his official visit on Saturday and attended the Stanford game with his parents and sister.
NCAA rules prohibit the Utes from commenting on Tuttle until he has signed a National Letter of Intent, but he verbally committed last December and has remained steadfast to that decision.
Tuttle, a four-star recruit, might be the biggest sign the Utes have gotten onto equal footing in recruiting. In fact, Tuttle could key in attracting other talent, particularly on offense.
“I wouldn’t call it recruiting, just enjoying our time and enjoying the experience and just dialoguing,” Tuttle said of his interaction with other prospects who were on campus this weekend. “We all want each other to comfortable in our paths. I think it’s cool that we can take these official visits together and talk about this stuff and experience it.”
Call to the Hall
Former Utah Ma’ake Kemoeatu (1998-2001) has been selected for induction into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2018.
Kemoeatu, a defensive tackle of Tonga ancestry, was a two-time All-Mountain West Conference selection. He came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent who played in 136 games (86 starts) during nine seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins.
Kemoeatu will be honored during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend and during the Polynesian Bowl on January 19-20, 2018, on Oahu, Hawaii.
USC Utahns on the mend
USC linebacker Porter Gustin, a 6-foot-5, 255-pound junior from Elk Ridge who played at Salem Hills High, has played in three of USC’s six games. He’s had both a toe injury and a ruptured bicep that have limited his availability.
During Tuesday’s weekly Pac-12 teleconference call, USC coach Clay Helton described Gustin’s status for this weekend as “doubtful.”
USC linebacker Tayler Katoa, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound freshman from Layton, graduated high school a semester early to join the USC program this past spring. He suffered an ACL injury in the spring that will cause him to miss the season and redshirt.
Jac Casasante, a long snapper for Loyola High School in Los Angeles, Calif., announced Tuesday via Twitter that he’d committed to Utah. Both of this year’s long snappers, Harrison Handley and Alex Whittingham are seniors.