This class that Utah put together this past signing period is arguably the best on paper in Utah history. It is likely that Utah has found their starting left tackle (Garret Boles), quarterback (Troy Williams), at least one linebacker (David Luafatasaga), and maybe a wide receiver (Demari Simpkins or Alec Dana). We're talking about instant contributors right now in multiple positions, and those instant contributors are in key areas of need. However, there are some names that are going to be overlooked, and here is one name that while watching some film, I got very excited for, and that is Donavan Thompson.
Thompson, for many reasons, reminds me of Gionni Paul. It doesn't hurt that he's also from South Florida, is basically the same height, and plays linebacker. When you watch his film, though (see this article for his film), he just has a nose for the ball, just like Paul. His instincts and play reading capability has him in position more often than not to make the play, whether it is an interception, a TFL or stopping a run in the hole. The thing that separated Gionni Paul from other linebackers was his ability to read a play, even if was going against the call that John Pease called. It is almost a football "sixth sense" where he knew exactly what the offense was about to do, and was about to capitalize on it, and those features appear to be a trait in Thompson as well.
Now with all that said, the kid is going to have to show those instincts and playmaking abilities on the collegiate level. The difference from high school to college is huge, especially when it comes to pass coverage, and avoiding pulling linemen. He'll also have to compete with Luafatasaga, Uaea Masina, Jake Jackson, Cody Barton and others for playing time.
The Utes pulled Thompson from FIU, and he had some looks from other smaller Florida school, as well as Oregon State and Arkansas. Thompson may not have had the sexiest of offer lists from around the country, but they may have found another sleeper, and that's why he's my most underrated prospect of 2016.
- Fotu was only listed as a two star athlete, but was heavily pursued by USC, and has a ton of raw potential. Coaches are salivating over this kid.
- Possibly the most versatile recruit of the class, as he was a wide receiver and a linebacker in high school. He may end up at linebacker overall, but he will get a shot at wide receiver this upcoming season, due to the lack of wide out production.