Utah lands basketball recruit Caleb Lohner, a prime BYU target

Caleb Lohner (left), a rising senior at Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah, is considered one of the top prep basketball players in the country. | Photo courtesy of Wasatch Academy basketball.

In May, a Salt Lake Tribune story described Wasatch Academy forward Caleb Lohner as having “the size and skill to change the trajectory of BYU basketball.

Lohner will take those attributes to Utah in 2020, he announced Wednesday.

The 6-foot-8, 220-pound player is a four-star recruit, ranked among the top 50 players in the class of 2020. Having grown up in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Flower Mound, Texas, before coming to Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant in the middle of last season, Lohner becomes part of what’s shaping up as a strong recruiting class for the Utes. His commitment to Utah came as a surprise, because he had not announced any finalists, while having offers from schools such as Kansas, Michigan State, Texas and Stanford.

Lohner, nicknamed “Thor” because of his physique and long hair, was a prime recruiting target of BYU. The Cougars apparently lost some ground when assistant coach Tim LaComb left the program in the head coaching transition from Dave Rose to Mark Pope.

Lohner's father, Matt, grew up in Provo and was a reserve guard for BYU in the mid-1990s.

As he began to narrow his choices, Caleb Lohner told The Tribune, “I will start slowly and think about where I would fit.”

The timing of Lohner’s decision is good for a Utah program that has lost six players to the NCAA transfer portal since November, had a flood ruin the practice court in June and received NCAA sanctions last week.

Lohner joins highly regarded guard Ian Martinez of Southern California and Sky View High School star Mason Falslev as 2020 commitments. Martinez’s father, Henry, started his job as an assistant to Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak on Aug. 1.

Utah has seven scholarship freshmen (counting redshirt freshman Lahat Thioune) on the 2019-20 roster, so the Utes are scheduled to have 10 underclassmen on scholarship in 2020-21.