February 3rd is only days away, and for the Utah coaching staff, that means making their final pitches to recruits this weekend. Utah's recruiting class for 2016 is currently shaping up as one of Kyle Whittingham's best, ranking somewhere between 32 and 42 in the country depending on the rating service. Utah's best class under Whittingham came in 2012 when it ranked 28th. With just a few days to go, the coaching staff is trying to hold onto current commitments and flip some more to their side.
Utah's two biggest name recruits are already on campus and their commitments are official. Those players are 6-6 305 lb. offensive tackle Garret Bolles and 6-3 205 lb. quarterback prospect Troy Williams. Both are junior college transfers and figure to contribute immediately. Other big recruits already on campus are two of the three highly touted players from Florida's Hallandale high school, quarterback Tyler Huntley and receiver Demari Simpkins.
The third player from the Hallandale trio, running back Zack Moss, visited Utah last week and said the visit went really well. He will be a player to keep an eye on however as Tennessee has been making a late run at him. He is currently on his official visit in Knoxville. He appears to remain solid with Utah, but depending on how his visit in Tennessee goes, that could change.
Other players currently committed to Utah but receiving a lot of attention from other schools are Semisi Lauaki, Cole Fotheringham and local products Johnny Maea and Leki Fotu. Both Lauaki and Fotu are defensive end prospects who are being pursued hard by USC. Fotu at 6-6 255 lbs. has the body of a pro and played a big role in helping Herriman to the 5A championship this year. Lauaki has been committed to Utah since October and has said he loves it in Salt Lake, but the Trojans are making a strong late push to get Lauaki to flip. Lauaki is a California kid and grew up in the LA area around the Trojan program. USC could pose a threat as he would have a chance to play close to home for a national brand.
Fotheringham, a tight end from California and Johnny Maea an offensive line prospect from East high are being heavily recruited by BYU since Kalani Sitake took over as head coach. Maea was scheduled to take a visit to Provo, though word on the street is he did not make the trip to Provo and has solidified his commitment to Utah. Fotheringham committed to Utah in July and has appeared solid, though the hiring of Sitake has caused him to reconsider BYU. He took an official visit to BYU last weekend and is visiting Utah this weekend. Alema Pilimai, a linebacker prospect from California and Utah commit is also receiving a lot of attention from the BYU coaching staff. Pilimai has been rumored to be on the fence and could be a late flip to BYU. He visited BYU last weekend and was Salt Lake this weekend at Utah.
On the other side of the coin, Utah is still pursuing some recruits committed to other programs, such as BYU recruit Jonah Trinnaman. The speedy receiver was teammates with Utah commit Bolles at Snow college and received a strong push from the Utah coaching staff, taking an official visit last weekend. New Utah receivers coach Guy Holliday had been recruiting Trinnaman to BYU and tried to get Trinnaman to make the switch to the U with him. Trinnaman reaffimred his commitment to BYU after his Utah visit however, noting that he had grown up a BYU fan and that's where he felt most comfortable. Barring a last minute change of heart, Trinnaman will be playing in Provo next year.
Other recruits Utah remains in the running for are junior college linebacker and Ole Miss commit David Laufatasaga and uncommitted defensive lineman Wayne Kirby, Bradlee Anae, Maxs Tupai and Fua Pututau. If Utah can hold onto their current commits and pick up a player like Laufatasaga or Anae, this Utah class has the potential to be very special. The recent success of a ten win season in a power five conference has put Utah on the radar of many talented recruits. For the Utah coaching staff February 3rd can't get here fast enough. Time to fire up the fax machine.