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Utah Football Recruiting Roundup: Top Out-of-State Players

In this third part of the recruiting series, we look at the top players outside the state of Utah. Can the Utes land talent from the rich recruiting grounds of California, Texas, and Florida?

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and his staff are looking at a number of players from outside Utah.
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and his staff are looking at a number of players from outside Utah.
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Since it seems like the top players from Utah will all be leaving the state for college, let’s look at a few out of state guys who could help give Utah a good class. The out-of-state recruiting took a big hit when four-star San Clemente, Calif. quarterback Sam Darnold committed to USC on Friday.

Cody Creason

Creason is a three-star offensive guard recruit from Folsom High School in Folsom, Calif. He has decent size for a guard at 6-5 and 275 pounds. Creason does a great job blocking in space on screen plays. He also has good feet and is powerful. He would be a great addition for Utah at guard. Utah has a good shot at landing Creason, and the Utes made his final top four along with Arizona, Arizona State, and Cal. When I spoke to Cody, he told me that all four schools are equal, and he will be announcing his commitment in early August on his Twitter. He said once he commits, he will maintain his commitment.

Chris Barr

Barr is a three-star athlete from Trinity Christian High School in Jacksonville, Fla. (a school that has a lot of FBS talent this year). He is not the biggest at 5-foot-10, 173 pounds, but he has great speed. I spoke with his coach, and Coach Ross told me Barr is being recruited to play slot receiver, cornerback, and returner. Most of his film* shows him on offense. Ross has nice moves in the open field. He is a threat to score on sweeps and screens as a slot receiver, and he has the speed to beat defensive backs on deep routes. His skill set also makes him a dangerous returner. Utah is continuing to recruit the Sunshine State hard this year, and Barr is a definitely a focus. I think he would be a great pick up for Utah. He is being recruited primarily by Kalani Sitaki, and Utah has a good shot at landing him. His coach told me he has a top five of Utah, Maryland, UCF, Wisconsin, and Cincinnati, and he should decide some time in August.

Kieffer Longson

Longson* is a four-star offensive tackle from Dougherty Valley High School, in San Ramon, Calif. Longson has great size at 6-foot-7, 300 pounds. Like most of the offensive linemen Utah is targeting in this class, Longson has a nasty streak to him. He plays the game with intensity and uses his size to his advantage. He would be an excellent pick up for Utah. Longson is LDS and will likely go on a mission, meaning he would not join the team until 2017. He just released his top six schools of Utah, BYU, ASU, Ohio State, USC, and UCLA. I think Utah has a shot at him, but BYU will be tough since he is LDS, and the other schools are all big time programs.

Dru Samia

Samia* is a four-star offensive guard (or possibly tackle) from San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, Calif. Samia measures 6-6 and weighs in at 296 pounds. Samia’s recruitment has taken off, in part because of a good showing at the All-Poly Camp in Utah. I think his chances of ending up at Utah are worse than they were a month ago, but he would be a great pickup for Utah. Utah needs to get top Polynesian recruits, as they've been missing on a lot of them lately. I think the most likely destination for Samia is UCLA, but if Utah has a good season, maybe they can get back into the picture for him.

Nyheim Hines

Hines* is a four-star running back from Garner High School in Garner, N.C. He does not have great size (at 5-9, 187 pounds), but he has elite speed, having been clocked at 4.34 in the 40. Utah does not really need a running back in this class with Poole, Booker, and McCormick all having at least two more years of eligibility, but Hines is a playmaker. If the Utes landed Hines, they would find ways to get him on the field as a true freshman. He averaged over 10 yards per carry, had over 3,000 yards rushing and 50 touchdowns last season. He can run, catch, and return the ball for a touchdown (he had 62 total last year). He is a long shot for the Utes, but he is a big fan of Steve Smith, so that is kind of the connection to Utah. Hines reminds me of Troy McCormick, but, perhaps, more explosive.

* All stats and video courtesy of Hudl.