2011 was a banner year for the Utes on the recruiting front as they landed a stellar class aided tremendously by the move to the Pac 12. 2012 could be even better with a full year in a BCS conference under the belt and the draw of Norm Chow for players on the offensive side of the ball.
With natural attrition due to many different factors, the Utes should have between 18 and 22 rides to give out for the 2012 class.
Here's how the depth chart will look for the 2012 season, which is when the 2012 recruits will enroll as well as the needs for each position. For the sake of argument, players are placed according to the positions they're going to be at in spring ball, which we all know, won't all stick.
Missing out on a 2011 quarterback wasn't that bad for the Utes. 2012 is shaping up to be a decent year out west for QBs and now that Utah is in the Pac 12, they'll be able to entice more elite prospects to visit and possibly even land one or two. With all of the current scholarship QBs on the roster being juniors or younger in 2011, they'll all be back in 2012. That said, there's no heir apparent to Jordan Wynn at this time with both Robles and Shreve being mostly unknowns. An elite 2012 QB could come in, spend a year learning behind Wynn as a redshirt or getting a few snaps and then step in as the starter in 2013. Sounds like a good situation to pitch to a high profile recruit. The number of QBs they'll bring in will probably be determined as the season goes on and the coaches determine what they have in Robles and Shreve and whether or not bringing in two QBs in this class is a necessity. If they do grab a second quarterback, he may very well come in as a greyshirt.
Running back is fairly stacked for the Utes in the interim with three new players coming in for 2011. None of the current running backs are going to be seniors this year so they're all back in 2012. Despite Lucky Radley moving over to DB (I think he'll stay there as I've said all along that he's a safety) and Luke Matthews trying out at running back in the spring (I think he goes back to receiver), Utah doesn't have a dire need here, but will still try to bring in one guy.
Boo Anderson is moving over to fullback for now and Chow has always used a fullback in his offense. Langi could get reps here as well or a walk-on could be brought in.
The wide receiver class for the Utes in 2011 was a big one, especially if Pedroza ends up on the offensive side of the ball which is where I think he is better suited. The depth is very good right now, although not a ton of it is experienced and we could see younger guys shoot up the depth chart by fall camp. With Charles Henderson and possibly Travis Still redshirting, Utah doesn't need a big class at receiver. Landing one elite player and one to two complimentary players should do the trick.
Norm Chow loves to use the tight end and did so a ton at UCLA and USC. Utah has plenty of options on the roster right now, but didn't land anyone this year. It's very possible that a guy like Nate Fakahafua could slide in here or a receiver could bulk up and play tight end. Return missionaries or walk-ons picking up a scholarship are possibilities too. If the Utes don't land a tight in 2012, it won't be the end of the world by any means.
The Utes need depth on the offensive line in 2012, especially if Po'u Palelei doesn't make it on campus in 2011. There isn't a ton of experience and there will probably be casualties of different natures along the way (injuries, grades, missions, transfers). This might be the most important area to address on the offensive side of the ball with the 2012 class. With the state of Utah not having a great O-line class at the moment, the Utes are going to need to go outside the state to pickup a few players. The 2012 offensive line class in the west is going to be stellar though and they'll have a bunch of players in California, Arizona, and Washington that they'll be after as well as a few in Texas.
2012 Recruiting Needs: Offense
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