It has been a busy period for the Utes on the recruiting trail. Utah added two new commitments, but lost a longtime commit and may have added a transfer.
Fulks, a junior college two-star athlete, may not be very big at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds, but he has blazing speed, reportedly running 4.32 in the 40-yard dash. He will likely be the fastest player on the field. He is injured this season and is redshirting, so he has not been recruited heavily. In his film*, Fulks plays both wide receiver and cornerback, but I have heard he will likely play cornerback at Utah. Fulks hails from Blinn Community College in Brenham, Texas. Blinn has produced a lot of FBS talent (including Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton, Arizona State star running back Marion Grice, and former Utah quarterback Terrance Cain). Fulks brings elite speed, and, hopefully, he can help Utah establish a pipeline to Blinn.
Neves is a local prospect out of Brighton High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Neves measures out at 6-4, 240 pounds, as a junior and is part of the 2016 class, the first commit for that class for the Utes. There is a long time to go until signing day in February 2016, but getting the early commitment from Neves is great. His dad, Kani Neves, was an offensive lineman for Utah. The three-star prospect is versatile, with the ability to play quarterback, linebacker (the position he currently plays for Brighton, as you can see in his film*), tight end, or defensive end. Neves hopes to play quarterback at Utah with his dual-threat skill set. He drew rave reviews during summer camps, including Auburn's junior camp and USC's Rising Stars camp, where he won MVP at quarterback. Utah now has two commitments from current Brighton players with Neves and Cody Barton, but I think there are a few more players Utah would love to have, namely five-star outside linebacker Osa Masina and 2016 four-star wide receiver Simi Fehoko. Utah landed a great local prospect in Neves who can hopefully help bring in other Brighton players.
Proud to announce that I've decided to verbally commit to the University of Utah! Go Utes! pic.twitter.com/v3SyJeaNqw— Kahiiii (@KAHINEVES) October 7, 2014
On the negative side of the ledger, Utah lost long-time offensive tackle commit Zach Lindsay. He originally committed to Utah in the class of 2012 from Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah. Lindsay did not qualify academically, though, and had to attend Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he has been the past two years. His decommitment is complicated, but academics are a big part of it. It is also a policy of Snow College that if a player is committed, the coaches do not really let other programs recruit the player. Lindsay has a redshirt year available, so he could be a 2 for 2 prospect in the 2016 class (he is currently a 3 for 2 if he makes it in the 2015 class), so he may be opening things up to see what is available for the class of 2016. Losing Lindsay would hurt since Utah needs to add talent at offensive tackle. If Utah could get an immediate impact offensive tackle, talented O-lineman Jeremiah Poutasi could move to guard next season, replacing the graduating Junior Salt at left guard.
Transfer Samson Faifili, a former middle linebacker for the Kansas Jayhawks, was dismissed from the team during spring camp. No official reason was given. He is apparently transferring to Utah and would have two years to play two starting next season. There is not a ton of info about his transfer, but I would expect that he is a preferred walk-on rather than a scholarship player, who will add depth at linebacker. He's listed as running a 4.58 40, and his film* shows he has a nose for the ball.
So blessed to have found a new home at a Top 25 school! Bout to make a statement at the...UNIVERSITY OF UTAH! #RunninUtes #2015— $@M$0/\/ (@samsonfaifili) October 13, 2014
*All film curtesy of Hudl