Despite a terrible loss, Utah recruiting is going well. Five players committed to Utah in the last four days. Here is some more information about each of the recruits.
Tavon Cox* - the three-star outside linebacker hails from Haines City Senior, the same high school in Florida as DJ Law, the running back recruit who did not qualify academically last year. The Utah player that Cox reminds me of most is Gionni Paul. They are both instinctive sideline to sideline linebackers. He is even built similar to Paul at 6'3", 205. Cox can drop into coverage (his film shows him covering slot receivers on occasion). He is a sure tackler that always seems to be around the ball. Current Utah linebackers Paul, Jared Norris, and Jason Whittingham are all juniors, and Jacoby Hale is a senior, so adding talented linebackers in this class is essential to replace those players. Adding another talented player from Florida continues to build the pipeline in the Sunshine State as well.
Caleb Repp* - the 6-5, 197 three-star wide receiver from Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. brings great size. Having big, tall receivers can create mismatches with smaller defensive backs, and Repp shows this ability to do this in his film. He is especially effective on fade routes in the red zone where he can go up and get the ball over the defender. Most of his highlights are him out jumping a defender for a ball. While Repp plays wide receiver in high school, he is likely to bulk up and play tight end for Utah since he only has 4.74 speed. He will provide a big target who can go up and get the football for Utah.
Chad Hekking* - he is a sign and send mission recruit. Hekking is a 6'4" 215 three-star athlete from Vacaville High School (in Vacaville, Calif.). Though he currently plays quarterback for his high school (and that is mostly what is in his film), he will likely play a different position in college, and there are multiple he could play. He can punt, but I see him playing likely on defense. His brother, Brock Hekking, is an NFL-bound defensive end playing for the Nevada Wolf Pack, so it is clear Chad has good genes. Defensive end or outside linebacker seem like the most obvious positions for Hekking, but he could also play tight end. Whatever position he plays, Utah added a versatile athlete who will help the team when he returns from his mission.
Nick Carman* - the three-star offensive tackle has decent size for a tackle at 6-5, 275. He is from Mountain Pointe High School (in Phoenix, Ariz.). He marks the second offensive lineman commit in this class for Utah (the other is offensive guard Jake Grant). Carman had offers from many other schools, but Utah is his only Power-5 offer. He moves well for a player his size and uses his hands effectively, often putting the player he is blocking on the ground.
I've decided to commit to play football at the University of Utah next year! #GoUtes— Nick Carman (@nick_carman5) October 1, 2014
T.J. Kautai* - he hails from a high school Utah has landed a lot of prospects from, Trinity High School in Euless, Texas. Continuing that pipeline is essential for Utah recruiting in the state of Texas. Not many expected Kautai to commit to Utah. He is a sign and send missionary. He currently plays safety in high school, but it is likely he will play outside linebacker in college. It is unknown how his body will develop on his mission, but he should provide some good speed at the linebacker position for Utah, and given his time at safety, he should be able to provide solid coverage as well.
News about uncommitted recruits
The biggest news this week was that four-star East High School (Salt Lake City, Utah) middle linebacker Christian Folau* decommitted from Stanford after having been committed for over a year. Folau is a sign and send mission recruit. There are four schools he is interested in Oklahoma State, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin, with Wisconsin being the early favorite. If Utah was able to get him, that would mark an impressive class at linebacker this year for the Utes.
Four-star athlete Javarius Davis* decommitted from North Carolina as well. Davis has offers from most of the big programs in college football. Landing him would be huge for Utah. He plays for Ed White High School (Jacksonville, Fla.) with current Utah running back commit Taylor Thomas. Thomas has been trying really hard to get Davis to join him at Utah. Davis also tweeted this out a little over a week ago.
Me & @Grind_Shine2 just made a bet if Utah bet USC I gotta go there with him— G.O.E (@javariusdavis1) September 23, 2014
Five-star outside linebacker Osa Masina will take his official visit to UCLA this weekend, the same weekend Utah plays UCLA in football.
Former Utah commit, four-star junior college wide receiver Cory Butler decommitted from Utah and committed to Kansas. Since Kansas fired head coach Charlie Weis, Butler appears to be souring a bit towards Kansas, so Utah may have another shot to land the talented wide receiver. Landing a junior college wide receiver in this class is essential for Utah since current wide receivers Dres Anderson and Kaelin Clay are both gone after this season, so they need to be replaced.
Current Commit Update
Former Utah coach, now at Ohio State, Urban Meyer offered Utah commit offensive tackle Branden Bowen a scholarship offer. Bowen has also set an official visit to Ohio State. This is a situation to monitor. Hopefully, Utah can hang on to the Corner Canyon big man.
*All film curtesy of Hudl