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Utah Football Recruiting Update

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Utah has reeled in two commits in the last week, both from the junior college ranks, linebacker Kurtis Taufa and quarterback Troy Williams. I love both pickups because they both fill in at positions where Utah loses a lot after the 2015 season.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Utah has reeled in two commits in the last week, both from the junior college ranks, linebacker Kurtis Taufa and quarterback Troy Williams. I love both pickups because they both fill in at positions where Utah loses a lot after the 2015 season.

One of Utah's two commits is a familiar face. Taufa was committed to Utah in the spring before flipping to Kansas. Current Ute Cory Butler-Byrd did the same thing and ultimately ended up a Ute. It is great having him back because he will be expected to contribute immediately to help the losses at linebacker after this season. Here is what I said about Taufa in the spring.

Taufa currently plays at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. The 6' 3", 230 linebacker shows in his film* that he possesses great instincts and can deliver a hit. Utah needs to add talent and depth at linebacker in the 2016 class due to linebackers Jared Norris, Gionni Paul, and Jason Whittingham all graduating after the 2015 season. Because he is a JUCO, Taufa could likely step in right away and play. He committed to Utah on Feb. 2, 2015 and is being primarily recruited by Morgan Scalley. Utah will have to fend off Kansas, Missouri, and Washington State, who have all offered Taufa, if they want to keep him committed.

Williams, a one-time Washington Husky, decided to leave UW and head to Santa Monica College.

"It just wasn't working out (at UW)," Williams told the Seattle Times reporter Adam Jude. "I was hoping it would be a good opportunity for me, especially with Coach Pete coming in. It just didn't work out."

You can read the full article about him leaving UW here. He was offered by Utah last week and has committed to Utah today. He has good size at 6'3", 205. Coming out of Narbonne HS (Harbor City, Calif.), Williams was rated a four-star recruit, the No. 7 pocket passer, and the No. 102 player in the 2013 class according to the 247Sports Composite ranking. Williams started one game at Washington, against Arizona State in 2014 in terrible weather. He struggled going 18-of-26 for 139 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He has done well at the junior college level. He has above average accuracy and has good mobility. He looks to pass first and run second, which is something I like to see out of dual-threat quarterbacks.

Utah hosted several big official visitors and had a lot of local players in on unofficial visits for the game against Arizona State on Saturday. The biggest official visitor was four-star athlete Melquise Stovall. His visit seemed to go very well, and he took a shine to Utah wide receiver Britain Covey, whose role he would likely fill if he ends up at Utah with Covey leaving for a mission after this season.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Had a great time this weekend in Utah. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Utes?src=hash">#Utes</a> ⚫️ <a href="http://t.co/GrioXk35MC">pic.twitter.com/GrioXk35MC</a></p>&mdash; Melquise Stovall (@Melstovall11) <a href="https://twitter.com/Melstovall11/status/655911537228451840">October 19, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Utah made a great impression on South Florida commit cornerback Armunz Mathews and cornerback Hussein Howe, both from Florida.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="in" dir="ltr"> ⚫️ SLC is Legit <a href="http://t.co/nexvLFs32j">pic.twitter.com/nexvLFs32j</a></p>&mdash; Armunz Ⓜ️athews (@AsapMat) <a href="https://twitter.com/AsapMat/status/655615610806599680">October 18, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Utah has to be the best place I&#39;ve been by far ⚪️ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoUtes?src=hash">#GoUtes</a></p>&mdash; RIP Johnnel&amp;Quon Ⓜ️ (@6_howe) <a href="https://twitter.com/6_howe/status/655882684514725889">October 18, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The list of local unofficial visitors featured Utah commit Kahi Neves and defensive end Maxs Tupai from the 2016 class and defensive tackle Jay Tufele, linebacker Sione Heimuli-Lund, and Oregon (one-time Utah) commit defensive end Langi Tuifua from the 2017 class. All of them are rated as a four-star by at least one recruiting site. Getting in-state talent to come to big games is huge for Utah to help fix this in-state recruiting problem.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="in" dir="ltr">Utah Game <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lit?src=hash">#Lit</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Top?src=hash">#Top</a> <a href="http://t.co/yvg4ne0mwI">pic.twitter.com/yvg4ne0mwI</a></p>&mdash; Sione Heimuli-Lund (@LundSione) <a href="https://twitter.com/LundSione/status/655590309112320000">October 18, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="in" dir="ltr">Utah <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoUtes?src=hash">#GoUtes</a> <a href="https://t.co/FxhytMUmyv">pic.twitter.com/FxhytMUmyv</a></p>&mdash; Sione Heimuli-Lund (@LundSione) <a href="https://twitter.com/LundSione/status/656295120057163776">October 20, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Overall, this past week has been great for Utah on the recruiting front. If they can start to reel in some of the four-star players they have hosted on official or unofficial visits, they could put together great 2016 and 2017 classes.