Utah football announces 20 signees on National Signing Day for its first top-25 class ever

Wednesday marked the first day of the early signing period for Division I football, which runs through Friday

With the early signing period opening for Division I football on Wednesday, the University of Utah announced that 20 high school recruits have signed National Letters of Intent.

The 20 signees include six 4-star recruits, includes four 4-star recruits, spearheaded by Timpview offensive tackle Spencer Fano. A top-150 recruit nationally, Fano began a wave of in-state commitments this month after the Rose Bowl with his commitment on Dec. 6. Among the recent in-state recruiting wins was promising 3-star cornerback Smith Snowden from Skyridge, and American Fork four-star edge rusher Hunter Clegg.

According to 247sports, the Utes have the No. 21-rated recruiting class nationally, as well as the No. 3-rated class in the Pac-12 behind USC and Oregon.

“According to the websites and services, this is probably the best class we’ve ever signed statistically,” Whittingham said Wednesday afternoon. “A lot of positive things there, but still not finished. With the transfers in play, not being certain who we’re going to lose from the roster down the road, there will be more to come.”

Among the recruits, Whittingham noted that Clegg, Brock Fonoimoana and Mateaki Helu will all be serving LDS missions before enrolling, while Fano, wide receiver Mikey Matthews, tight end Jonathan Hall, linebacker Owen Chambliss and the lone quarterback in the class, three-star Mack Howard, will all enroll early in time for spring practice. The spring semester at Utah begins on Jan. 9.

Utah entered Wednesday with 20 high school recruits having verbally committed, and will leave Wednesday that way. Wichita, Kan., running back John Randle Jr., the sixth 4-star pledge of this cycle, committed during the day, but Arizona flipped 3-star wide receiver Carlos Wilson from the Utes, leaving them at 20.

In addition to the 20 high school recruits, Whittingham has verbal commitments out of the NCAA Transfer Portal from Fano’s brother, BYU edge rusher Logan Fano, who missed all of his freshman season in 2022 with a torn ACL, and Stanford linebacker Levani Damuni. Whittingham could not talk about specific transfers, but he did indicate that both Fano and Damuni would be enrolling in January, in time for spring practice.

UTAH FOOTBALL 2023 RECRUITING CLASS (In bold have signed NLIs)

Roger Alderman, 6-5, 275, OT, Sonora (Calif.)

C.J. Blocker, 6-0, 165, CB, New Caney (Texas)

Kainoa Carvalho, 5-7, 165, Kahuku (Hawaii)

Owen Chambliss, 6-2, 205, LB, Centennial (Calif.)

Hunter Clegg, 6-4, 235, DE, American Fork

Spencer Fano, 6-5, 270, OT, Timpview

Brock Fonoimoana, 6-1, 190, S, Kahuku (Hawaii)

Jonathan Hall, 6-1, 220, LB, Katy (Texas)

Mateaki Helu, 6-0, 200, ATH, Stansbury

Mack Howard, 6-2, 185, QB, Oxford (Miss.)

C.J. Jacobsen, 6-5, 230, TE, Rocky Mountain (Idaho)

Jonah Leaea, 6-4, 230, DE, Bishop Gorman (Nev.)

Caleb Lomu, 6-5, 260, OT, Highland (Ariz.)

Mikey Matthews, 5-10, 185, WR, Mission Viejo (Calif.)

Michael Mitchell, 6-0, 195, RB, Middleburg (Fla.)

Stanley Raass, 6-1, 290, DL, Kahuku (Hawaii)

John Randle Jr., 6-0, 185, RB, Heights (Kansas)

Smith Snowden, 5-10, 175, CB, Skyridge

Dijon Stanley, 6-1, 175, ATH, Granada Hills (Calif.)

Daidren Zipperer, 6-1, 170, WR, Lakeland (Fla.)