Utah football's 2013 class might not turn many heads, but Kyle Whittingham believes it certainly addressed needs. It wasn't built on flash, but instead shored up some major problems facing the Utes last season - specifically in terms of depth and on the defensive line. The Utes signed six in this class (Tevita Bloomfield is technically a 2012 recruit, but will join this year's class) and they proved, as Whittingham put it, the primary emphasis of this year's class.
The team also focused on the quarterback spot after last year's abysmal situation led to the program's first losing season in ten-years. The talent is raw, definitely, but pretty well hyped - especially Conner Manning out of El Toro High School in California. He was joined by Brandon Cox, a versatile quarterback from Pasadena.
Both really look to be the linchpin of this year's offensive class and, at least on hype, appear to have the tools to start down the road or even push Travis Wilson throughout spring and fall camps.
Overall, Utah's class ranked 47th nationally according to Scout and 41st at Rivals. Utah had cracked the top-40 earlier in Rivals' rankings, but they've been bumped down with the finalizing of each program's class. Scout also has Utah 10th in the conference, while Rivals puts them at 9th.
So, like I said, not a flashy class. It's not one that many outside Utah will point to and say, "wow", especially since it's coming in at the lower-end of the Pac-12. Of course, that should be expected after last year's struggles and shows just how difficult it is to recruit at this level. The Utes currently have an overall better ranking than BYU and TCU and the remainder of the Mountain West - including Boise State. That's a dramatic contrast. In the old Mountain West, Utah would've recorded the best class in the conference and yet, this year's class can't even crack the middle of the PAC.
I think that will come but it will take winning. It's tough to build on losing in the Pac-12 when you're going up against so many programs that appear to be on the upswing. Even still, based on star average, the Utes actually finished 7th in the Pac-12 - above Cal, Oregon State, Arizona, Washington State and Colorado.
But is this a good class? I don't know. Only time will tell. I'm excited for the speed in the videos, and yet, there is a great possibility some of these players don't pan out.
It'll be exciting to watch, though.
How would you rank this class ... and who's the player you're most looking forward to watching?
|DT||6-5||274||Fr.||HS||Westminster, Calif./Westminster HS|
|OT||6-7||309||Jr.||JC||Costa Mesa, Calif/Orange County College|
|RB||5-11||199||Jr.||JC||Sacramento, Calif./American River College|
|DB||6-1||213||Jr.||JC||Los Angeles, Calif./L.A. Southwest College|
|DB||6-1||172||Fr.||HS||Houston, Texas/Westside HS|
|QB||6-2||192||Fr.||HS||Pasadena, Calif./Pasadena HS|
|TE||6-5||217||Fr.||HS||Sandy, Utah/Alta HS|
|WR||5-10||152||Fr.||HS||Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw HS|
|DT||6-2||296||Jr.||JC||Huntington Beach, Calif./Golden West Col.|
|WR||6-3||200||Jr.||JC||Fairfield, Calif./Diablo Valley College|
|QB||6-1||200||Fr.||HS||Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro HS|
|LB||6-2||210||Fr.||HS||Salt Lake City/Brighton HS|
|RB||5-9||159||Fr.||HS||Katy, Texas/Mayde Creek HS|
|DE||6-3||229||Fr.||HS||Woods Cross, Utah/Woods Cross HS|
|DB||6-0||187||Jr.||JC||Compton, Calif/Santa Ana College|
|TE||6-5||236||Jr.||JC||Camden, N.J./Arizona Western|
|WR||5-10||170||Fr.||HS||Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS|
|DE||6-5||288||Fr.||HS||Euless, Texas/Trinity HS|
|QB||6-0||178||Fr.||HS||Houston, Texas/North Shore HS|
|OT||6-4||319||Fr.||HS||Euless, Texas/Trinity HS|
|DT||6-5||278||Fr.||HS||Euless, Texas/Trinity HS|
|RB||5-11||212||Fr.||HS||Las Vegas, Nev./Durango HS|
|RB||5-9||171||Fr.||HS||Houston, Texas/Nimitz HS|