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Utah Recruiting Part 3: Remaining Targets

Jay Tufele Opening
Bingham DT Jay Tufele at the Opening in Beaverton, Ore.
Student Sports

This is the third part of a three part series written by Brian Flach (MNUte) previewing Utah recruiting heading into National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

With less than a week until National Signing Day, Utah is in a position to make a very strong closing push to finish up the recruiting season. This is a three part look at where the Utes are currently sitting, who’s visiting this weekend, and who’s strongly in contention for the Utes.

Now, let’s take a look at the prospects who have Utah as one of their announced final choices. We’ll break them down into those who have already visited and those visiting this weekend.

Already Visited/Not Visiting.

Cyrus Habibi-Likio, Four-star RB/LB: A true throwback RB, cyrus is a strong, tough runner who seeks out contact. He’s not the fastest, but he makes up for that with balance and strength. I could see him switching to LB for the Utes and thriving there. He’s down to a final four of Boise State, Cal, Oregon, and the Utes and is a big fan of the new coaching staff Utah has put together on offense. UPDATE: Habibi-Likio committed to Oregon Thursday night.

Alden Tofa, Four-star DE: Long, strong and local, Tofa is a player the Utes are trying to add to their D-line rotation. Unfortunately, Utah’s competing against UCLA, Oregon and BYU. Of them all, I see Tofa landing at UCLA or BYU but we’ll have to wait and see.

Javelin Guidry, Four-star CB: People will underestimate Guidry because of his small frame (5’9, 180). However, he has great technique, very good aggression for his size, and is one of the fastest if not the fastest recruits in the country. A legit 4.Three-runner, he’s a track and field star who would be able to come in and immediately take over Justin Thomas’ nickelback position. It’s down to Utah, Texas, and ASU, with the Devils getting his last visit this weekend. Hopefully the Utes land Guidry, but I think he’ll probably end up with the Longhorns. UPDATE: Guidry committed to Utah yesterday afternoon.

TJ Green, Four-star RB: A former Oregon State commit who decommitted after his visit to Utah, TJ is a smooth, tough, and highly productive back. I honestly think the decommitment suggests the Utes have flipped him and he’ll announce his commitment to the U on NSD. UPDATE: Green committed to Utah this morning.

Daniel Green, Three-star ILB: Green is a fast, instinctive inside backer who’s strong in both run support and coverage. Think of Gionni Paul in the body of a sterotypical linebacker (6’3, 225) and you have Green. It was between the Utes, K-State, and Oregon State until Ole Miss offered him this week. He’s switched his final visit from OSU to Ole Miss this weekend, which is not a good sign for the Utes. Still, there’s a very good chance he lands at Utah and is a solid contributor if not a flat out star in a few years time.

Bryan Thompson, Three-star WR: A former Boise State commit, Thompson does everything decently well and has the ceiling to be great with more experience (has only played receiver for a year). His top six are Nebraska, Oregon, UCLA, Utah, WSU, and Boise State. However, he just told the media a few days ago that Utah has pulled away from the pack and is in the lead for his services.

Nick Ford, Three-star OT: This kid came out of nowhere. As in most sites weren’t talking about him and neither were the Utes until he got to campus for his visit. After watching his film, this kid is going to be good and has earned all of the late attention he’s received. He has the raw tools to excel in size (6’6, 286), length, strength, balance, and foot quickness. He just needs the time and technique to develop. He has a final four of Utah, Colorado, Cal, and Washington. From the various whisperings and signs, it looks like the Huskies are going to snag him after their late offer on January 6th.

Reggie Roberson: Very good receiver prospect, potentially elite return man. Has great hands and his vision and open field moves give him big YAC potential. If we land him, he’s competing with Hobbs for starting PR duties next season. He’s deciding between Kansas, Illinois, WVU, WSU, Oregon State and the Utes. I personally think it’s down to WVU and Utah, with the Mountaineers getting his last visit this weekend.

Kevaughn Dingle, 3-Four-star WR: Think of a more consistent K-Scott. A bit slower of a receiver (4.7 to 4.8 range), but he’s so tough, clean in his routes, and good at boxing out that he’s able to compensate for it and makes the tough catches. Would be nice to land him but I’d honestly take Roberson over Dingle. He’s down to Utah and Kentucky, who he visits this weekend.

BJ Thompson, Three-star TE/DE: Pure raw tools prospect. 6’6, 210 lb long and freakishly fast prospect who could easily add 40 pounds to his frame. The more of his film I watch, the more I like him as a TE. He’s a pure hands catcher most of the time, has great body control, and is a clear mismatch against most of the people in his film. He has Florida State and Baylor this week and weekend for visits, so I dont think the Utes get him, although he seemed to love his visit here. If the utes land him, he’s my sleeper of this class, regardless of whether he lands at DE or TE. He’s the type of underrated recruit who bulks up over a two year span and then destroys over the course of his junior and senior years.

Visiting This Weekend:

These recruits were analyzed more thoroughly in part two.

Jay Tufele, 4-5 star DT: Has his top five listed but the whisperings are that it’s between OSU, USC and the Utes. The Utes had the lean before his visit to USC last weekend which was supposedly incredible. But the Utes get the last chance to sway him before NSD and I think they’ll come away with Tufele.

George Moore, Four-star JUCO OT: However, Auburn just offered and the Utes are also battling ASU, Oregon, and Baylor among others for his services. I think with a good visit the Utes can sway him but this is one of those recruits who’s not giving anything away and will most likely end up at Auburn.

Jordan Lolohea, Three-star DE: His final four is down to BYU, Oregon, Utah, and Washington with the consensus being that he’s a Washington lean.

Miki Suguturaga, Three-star DE: He’s down to Virginia, Vandy, WSU, and Utah, and I think Utah will come away with his services.

Mo Unutoa, Three-star OT/OG: He’s choosing between Utah, BYU, Oregon, Oregon State, Virginia, and WSU. To be honest, it’s anyone’s guess what he chooses.

Taniela Pututau, Three-star S: Pututau just announced that it’s down to Utah and Oregon State, and I think the Utes get him with his visit this weekend.

Aliki Vimahi, Three-star DE: He’s down to Utah, Virginia, and Georgia Tech. Of the three, I think Tech lands him, but here’s to hoping Utah sways him the other way.

Your thoughts? Which recruits excites you the most? Who do you think the Utes land? Let us know in the comments below.