UTAH ELITE FOOTBALL

In-state schools struggling to keep top players in Utah

By EFN Staff
Writer
Published: 02/03/2015

As everything is lining up the day before National Signing Day, in-state schools have done a poor job of keeping top high school recruits in Utah. Regardless of how one ranks players, 12 Class of 2015 players are verbally committed to programs residing outside of the Beehive State.

The top football programs in Utah have verbal commitments from 18 players with six highly recruited players left uncommitted. BYU has seven verbal commitments, Utah five, Utah State five, and Weber State with two.

Southern California has essentially performed a coup on Utah schools taking top players Osa Masina and Porter Gustin, both linebackers. UCLA landed offensive tackle Andre James and Oregon State took linebacker Christian Folau. Even Wisconsin and Ohio State joined in grabbing dual-threat quarterback Austin Kafentzis and offensive tackle Branden Bowen respectively.

Like USC, Stanford took two out of Utah landing defensive end Gabe Reid and fullback Houston Heimuli.

The next big domino that could fall out of state is Taylorsville defensive end Mufi Hunt. Hunt has taken official visits to Washington State, Oregon State, and BYU but many feel Michigan State will land the prized recruit.

With one day before NSD Utah has 23 verbal commitments, BYU has 22, and Utah State has 16. Of the top three programs, the Utes have the higher rated class with all 23 commitments considered 3-star prospects. The Cougars have 17 recruits ranked as 3-star, no 5 or 4-stars, and the Aggies have six 3-star commitments.

For the state of Utah to have three thriving Division-I programs with a population of roughly 2.9 million residents is impressive. If any of the schools want to take that next step in competing for a national championship a border must go up around the state keeping the top talent at home.

Thanks in large part to the “Utah-Two”, USC is shaping up to sign a Top 5 recruiting class in 2015. The Trojans haul may not catch what Alabama has put together but with the possible additions of Long Beach Poly corner Iman Marshall along with Junipero Serra stars defensive tackle Rasheem Green and linebacker John Houston USC is setting up to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

USC 2015 Commitment List
CB Isaiah Langley, 5’11”, 175 lbs, Foothill HS, Pleasanton, California
CB Ykili Ross, 6’2”, 185 lbs, Polytechnic, Riverside, California
S Marvell Tell, 6’2”, 175 lbs, Crespi HS, Encino, California
DE Christian Rector, 6’4”, 240 lbs, Loyola HS, Los Angeles, California
DT Jacob Daniel, 6’5”, 300 lbs, Clovis North, Fresno, California
DT Noah Jefferson, 6’5”, 285 lbs, Liberty HS, Las Vegas, Nevada
LB Porter Gustin, 6’5”, 245 lbs, Salem Hills HS, Salem, Utah
LB Osa Masina, 6’3.5”, 230 lbs, Brighton HS, Salt Lake City, Utah
LB Cameron Smith, 6’2”, 240 lbs, Granite Bay, Granite Bay, California
OG Chuma Edoga, McEachern HS, Powder Springs, Georgia
OT Roy Hemsley, 6’7”, 307 lbs, Windward HS, Los Angeles, California
OT Clayton Johnston, 6’6”, 289 lbs, Servite HS, Anaheim, California
OC Cole Smith, 6’3”, 265 lbs, Mission Viejo HS, Mission Viejo, California
QB Sam Darnold, 6’5”, 215 lbs, San Clemente HS, San Clemente, California
QB Ricky Town, 6’4”, 194 lbs, St. Bonaventure HS, Ventura, California
RB Dominic Davis, 5’10”, 175 lbs, Bishop Alemany HS, Mission Hills, California
RB Ronald Jones II, 6’0”, 185 lbs, McKinney North, McKinney, Texas
RB Aca’Cedric Ware, 5’11”, 189 lbs, Cedar Hill HS, Cedar Hill, Texas
TE Tyler Petite, 6’4”, 217 lbs, Campolindo HS, Moraga, California
WR De’Quan Hampton, 6’4”, 220 lbs, Long Beach C.C., Long Beach, California
WR Isaac Whitney, 6’4”, 195 lbs, Riverside C.C., Riverside, California

USC Early Enrollees
OG Chuma Edoga, McEachern HS, Powder Springs, Georgia
OT Roy Hemsley, 6’7”, 307 lbs, Windward HS, Los Angeles, California
QB Ricky Town, 6’4”, 194 lbs, St. Bonaventure HS, Ventura, California
WR Isaac Whitney, 6’4”, 195 lbs, Riverside C.C., Riverside, California
CB Isaiah Langley, 5’11”, 175 lbs, Foothill HS, Pleasanton, California
LB Cameron Smith, 6’2”, 240 lbs, Granite Bay, Granite Bay, California

Photo credit: twitter.com; No. 11 Porter Gustin