Yesterday was a busy day for Utah Utes recruiting. Highly prized running back transfer T.J. Pledger announced his decision to come to Utah and 2022 Weber High legacy Aisea Moa announced his commitment to Utah.
Pledger was a top 100 recruit nationally (and No. 4 all-purpose back) coming out of IMG Academy, the athletic prep powerhouse in Florida. Despite playing his ball there, he is originally from California. He signed with the Oklahoma Sooners in the class of 2018. He comes to Utah as a true junior. As a Sooner, Pledger started at running back to start the 2020 season after seeing limited reps as a freshman and sophomore in 2018 and 2019. Pledger topped 100 yards rushing twice in 2020 before Rhamondre Stevenson returned from a six-game suspension and took over as the starter and limited his carries. Pledger has a great blend of speed and power. He is hard to tackle and is dangerous in the open field. He can also catch the football out of the backfield. He will fit in really well in Utah’s offense. Pledger will have a huge hole to fill with the tragic loss of Ty Jordan.
Moa, one of the top players in the state of Utah in the 2022 class, is following in his father’s footsteps and playing ball at the U. Ben Moa, his father, was a tight end and running back at Utah in 2002-03. The younger Moa is listed as an athlete and has the talent to play on the offensive side of the ball like his father but seems more likely to end up on defense, likely at defensive end or linebacker. His primary recruiter is Lewis Powell. At 6-3, 230, he has the size and athleticism to be a monster on the Utah defense. 247Sports ranks him a 4-star athlete. He currently only holds offers from in-state schools but his recruitment is starting to heat up as schools start to shift their focus to the 2022 class.
It is a good year in the state of Utah in 2022 for high school talent and legacy Utah recruits. The top player in the state right now is 4-star linebacker Lander Barton, the younger brother of Jackson and Cody, who both played at Utah before moving on the the NFL, and the son of Paul Barton and Mikki Kane-Barton.