On Sunday night, Utah added to its 2017 recruiting class by nabbing a local Top 100 prospect.
Branden Carlson, a 6-foot-10, 210-pound center from South Jordan (Utah) Bingham, pledged to the Utes, giving Utah a commitment from Scout's 69th ranked prospect in the class.
Even though Carlson is technically a 2019 recruit due to the fact he'll be taking a two-year LDS mission out of high school, this was a big commitment for the Utes.
Landing a player with offers from Stanford (academics), BYU (local and religious ties) and UCLA (prestigious program) are all powerful statements for Utah's coaching staff to make with similar prospects in the future.
Also, even though Carlson is Scout's 3rd rated center regionally in the 2017 class, physically he has a ways to go and would have likely needed a redshirt year. Once he returns from his mission, there will be no need to rush him given Utah already has what will likely be a productive player at the same position in Jayce Johnson.
What kind of player is Utah getting in Carlson?
The four-star prospect is an athletic center with a good frame and impressive mobility given the fact that he's grown a few inches in the last year and is still growing into his body. He gets up and down the court in a hurry and is a plus athlete for the position.
He's made significant progress over the last year and the rate that he's developing is a very good sign for his future.
Carlson has soft hands and while he can tend to struggle to finish with contact due to his lack of strength, his frame suggests he'll eventually be able to get stronger without too much issue. He has decent touch around the basket, can finish with both hands and has hook shots with both hands.
While Carlson isn't a huge threat to score facing up, his stroke is fine and eventually he should be a competent jump shooter. He already has decent footwork, even though his strength doesn't allow him to be a huge post threat at this time.
Carlson sees the court well and is a good passer for the position. He also rebounds his area due to his size.
Overall, Carlson is every bit of a high major prospect and his commitment was a big one for Utah.