Utah football gets commitment from 4-star cornerback Smith Snowden

Snowden is the fifth in-state commit for Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham in the last week.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Skyridge's Smith Snowden (3) celebrates tackling Corner Canyon's Isaac Wilson (1) with three minutes left in the fourth quarter, effectively ending the game, as Corner Canyon faces Skyridge in the 6A high school football championship game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.

The University of Utah football program’s recent run on in-state recruits continued on Monday afternoon.

Smith Snowden, a highly sought-after four-star cornerback from Skyridge High School, committed to the Utes on Monday afternoon. Snowden is rated No. 4 among all Utah prospects in the 2023 class and is the No. 35-rated cornerback nationally in his class.

“I’m just going to put my head down and work,” Snowden said during his commitment announcement on 1280 The Zone. “I expect nothing to be given to me. I’m just going to put my head down and work.”

Between high school recruits and the NCAA Transfer Portal, Snowden is the fifth Utes commit from the state of Utah since last Tuesday. The others are four-star offensive tackle Spencer Fano, his older brother, Logan Fano, a transfer from BYU, Stanford linebacker transfer Levani Damuni, a former Ridgeline High School standout, and four-star American Fork High School edge rusher Hunter Clegg.

Clegg had been committed to Stanford since July, but reneged on that verbal pledge and committed to the Utes on Thursday in the wake of former Cardinals head coach David Shaw’s resignation on Nov. 27.

The early signing period for high school recruits begins Dec. 21.

Snowden will walk into what is projected as a veteran cornerbacks room in 2023, even with Clark Phillips III on Monday declaring for the NFL Draft (the consensus All-American and Thorpe Award finalist is a projected first-round pick on April 27).

Beyond Phillips III, JT Broughton is currently a fourth-year junior with 34 career games played, including 17 starts, while third-year sophomore Zemaiah Vaughn has emerged this fall as arguably Utah’s second-best cornerback after Phillips. He has played in all 13 games this season, including six starts.

With Spencer Fano, Clegg and a third four-star commit, Arizona offensive tackle Caleb Lomu, anchoring the group, Utah is in line for its highest-rated recruiting class ever, according to 247sports.com. After Snowden’s commitment, the Utes had the 21st-ranked class in the country, and the No. 3 class in the Pac-12 behind Oregon and Stanford.

“This has been in the back of my head, probably since that Pac-12 championship win,” said Snowden, the son of former BYU running back Will Snowden. “They played a hard USC team, the Heisman winner (Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams), and I think they just showed their defense. In my opinion, defense wins games and I think they take a lot of pride in defense.”

Snowden said Monday expects to enroll at Utah on June 1. Instead of enrolling in January in time for spring practice, Snowden intends to run his senior season of track and field, where he is among the favorites in Class 6A in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Snowden finished second in the 6A 100 as a junior in a personal-best 10.54, while running third in the 200 in 21.72.