While it looked like Utah was done recruiting quarterbacks with Travis Wilson and Chase Hansen on board, and with Hansen taking a mission to give the two separation, the injury to Jordan Wynn has thrown the situation for a loop. While Wynn's most recent injury is on his non-throwing shoulder, he still struggled with the throwing shoulder injury from last season and didn't look like himself from early in 2010. How Wynn recovers from his newest injury, and how the injury to the throwing shoulder recovers and rehabs will determine whether or not Jordan ever makes it back on the field, which the coaches have to realize is a possibility at this stage. If he does come back, which seems likely, Wynn will still only be a junior as he's eligible for a medical redshirt. So, the Wynn injury gives us three possible scenarios: 1) He returns next season and resumes his role as the starter and is likely also the starter in 2013. 2) He does not return next season, uses the year to get healthy, and returns in 2013, possibly as the starter. 3) He never plays another down and is forced to take a medical retirement. Because of the unknown as to which of these scenarios will happen, the coaches have to be prepared for life without Jordan Wynn. Jon Hays will be a senior next year and likely the starter if Wynn is out, or the backup if he returns. Tyler Shreve will be a redshirt freshman and most likely the backup to Hays or the third stringer behind Wynn and Hays. Travis Wilson will be a true freshman, but Wilson is a project and nowhere near ready to contribute with a redshirt season likely coming. Then there's Chase Hansen, who has indicated that he'll head out on a mission next season, but looks physically capable of stepping in and making a run at a starting spot. It's not likely that he's ready to do so, but the possibility exists, especially with Utah's current QB situation. Would Chase push off the mission if he had a chance to be the starter? A Pac 12 team that wants to compete for conference championships needs 4 to 5 scholarship QBs on their roster. Utah is going to have anywhere from 3 to 5 with the current situation (the unknown with Wynn and possibly Hansen). What they really need is someone that can come in right away and contribute, but most QBs that would be ready to contribute are locked up elsewhere. The JC route is a possibility, but there aren't many candidates. The 2013 class is loaded at quarterback, and probably has more quality QB prospects than the last three classes combined and an elite prospect in their own backyard in Cooper Bateman. Holding off on taking another in the 2012 class to better set yourself up to take at least one and maybe 2 quality signal callers in the 2013 class is probably the better long term strategy.
Travis Wilson COMMITTED
Wilson was as high on their board as anyone that they had a realistic shot at the coaches were able to reel him in. He's been hearing from other schools, but insists that he's solid to Utah, having already completed his official visit. Wilson has prototypical size for a QB in a pro-style offense and decent athleticism. Tremendous get for this staff, but still a project that won't be able to contribute right away.
Chase Hansen COMMITTED
The Utes pulled a shocker when they landed Hansen over BYU. He's been stellar his senior year in leading the state's top high school squad while putting up video game like numbers at times. Hansen is projected by many to end up on the defensive side of the ball as a safety or linebacker when he returns from his mission, but committed to Utah because he was told he'd have an opportunity to play quarterback. He's a gamer and competitor with tremendous skills and toughness and the kind of kid that wins games at the QB spot.
Others to Watch
Jacob Morgan (JC)
The running back position is not one of dire need for the Utes after the haul they brought in last season, which is a good thing because of a lack of running back talent on the west coast for 2012. There are a ton of players on the roster and they'll find someone to succeed John White after the 2012 season. Can't see them bringing in more than two backs, with one of those probably ending up as a power back/fullback. Mostly likely scenario is only one back.
Jamie Gilmore- Offered
Gilmore is a smaller back, in the mold of John White, and one of the few east coast players the Utes have a shot at. He's insisted that he'll visit Utah officially, but the distance from home could end up being a factor, especially with the offers he has closer to him. While it wouldn't be a complete shock to land Gilmore, it would be somewhat of a surprise.
Shaq Powell- Offered
Powell recently picked up a Utah offer and comes from one of the top programs in the country. He's a short back, but well built, who excels between the tackles (Think Maurice Jones-Drew without as much speed). He's planning a visit in January, which will likely be his final official before making a decision. Utah is also talking with teammates OL Ron Scoggins, who Powell is close with.
Sione Houma- Offered (Committed to Michigan)
Houma caught a few people off guard when he committed to Michigan over the summer. He's been dead silent throughout the process, so what's going on behind the scenes is unknown. If the hometown school can get him on campus for a few days during a visit, the pull of playing in front of friends and family and staying home might be hard to ignore.
Others to Watch
Chris Brown- Offered
Robert Lewis (Offered)
Taylor Cox (JC)
Josh Johnson (JC)
Donnell Dickerson (JC)
After bringing in a large contingent of receivers in 2011, this isn't a priority for 2012. It's apparent that the Utes could use a few more gamebreakers and they've got a guy committed in McClellon with unbelievable speed. If Utah can land one more guy on their radar, they should be happy.
Delshawn McClellon- COMMITTED
McClellon committed to the Utes in June,and while he's indicated that he'll still take visits, the verbal seems to have solidified in recent weeks. McClellon does have ties to Utah with his grandfather living in the area and will be a nice fit with his speed. He's also working on bringing a few other Los Angeles area players with him.
Powe has Utah near the top of his list and is an elite, underrated receiver. If Michigan offers, he's likely headed to Ann Arbor. Of the schools that have offered, Oregon State appears to be the front runner. Powe will visit Utah, but the Ute coaches are well behind in this race at the moment.
Gabriel Marks- Offered
Marks caught a lot of people off guard when he committed to SMU over the summer over Utah and UCLA. He's still planning trips to both Salt Lake City and Westwood, but we're hearing that the verbal to SMU is more solid than previously thought. Marks is a tremendous athlete and could end up at corner as well.
Cameron Countryman- Offered
COuntryman has indicated that a trip to Utah will take place, but he's still holding out for other offers and might not make it out to Salt Lake. He's a bright kid with Ivy League offers as well and, if offered by a prestigious academic school like Northwestern, Stanford, or UCLA, will be tough to reel in for Utah.
Thomas attended the elite camp over the summer, but was not offered. He's a long and lean receiver who is a project. If the Utes want his best friend and high school teammate Marcus Rios, they'll probably need to offer Thomas as well.
Others to Watch
Most of the top tight ends are off the boards. With the young talent already on the roster, there isn't a huge need at the moment, but the Utes would like to bring in at least one.
Bush-Loo is a teammates of current commit Kiha Sai and has an offer from Nebraska to his name. He likes Utah and they'd get serious consideration if an official offer is extended.
Others to Watch
Priority number 1 for the 2012 class is on the offensive line, and it has been addressed in a big way with 4 commitments already. With the lack of talent on the roster right now and all of the starters upperclassmen, the Utes need guys that can come in and be ready to play by their second year in the program. They could end up taking as many as 7 or 8 linemen, which is an astounding number.
Nua Poteki COMMITTED
Poteki picked up an offer over the summer and committed to Utah. He's a big kid with a lot of upside who is a sign and send. A great local find by the coaching staff.
Kiha Sai COMMITTED
Sai was the first commit for the 2012 class and will join his big brother Kapua, who's an offensive lineman at Utah currently. He could end up being the most important recruit in this class because of his ability to recruit other players. Kiha is as solid as they come in his commitment.
Zach Lindsay COMMITTED
Lindsay made his commitment to Utah official recently after making the jump over from BYU. He's a project, but will enroll early to get a jump his college career. Quite the coup for the Utes to flip an LDS kid from BYU.
Lio Lafaele COMMITTED
Lafaele committed to the Utes at the end of the summer. He didn't have any other offers, but has family in Utah and indicated that this is where he always wanted to go. Lafaele is a big kid who has battled some injuries the past two years and will need to work on his body before getting a chance to contribute. Might project better at guard.
Jeremiah Poutasi- Offered
Poutasi recently visited Utah officially and has stated that Utah is his favorite right now. He'll take a couple more visits before making a decision in December or January, but is Utah's to lose. If he ends up at Utah, expect Brandon Fanaika to do the same.
David Keller- Offered
Keller was committed to his hometown school of Fresno State, but has backed out of his commitment and is now getting looks from a lot of Pac 12 schools. Utah is one of his favorites and will get a visit after the season.
Eduardo Middleton- Offered (Committed to Washington State)
Middleton surprised everyone when he committed to Wazzu in early September following an official visit after appearing to be a Utah lean. He's said recently that the Utah coaches are still pushing for a visit in January, but Middleton is still undecided.
Fernando Villanueva- Offered (Committed to Washington State)
Villanueva, like Middleton, surprised a lot of people by committing after a visit to Washington State. He's said that he's still considering a visit to Utah, but nothing has been finalized. Villanueva is high on offensive line coach Tim Davis and Utah is still very much in play.
Alexandru Ceachir- Offered (JC)
Ceachir was offered over the summer by Utah and has a short offer list with only Arkansas being the other school throwing out a full ride. He's very inexperienced and will be coming from the JC ranks via Moldova (Europe), but is a big, strong kid with a solid head on his shoulders. Will visit in December and is a mid year graduate.
Others To Watch
Garrett Weinreich- Offered
Kennedy Estelle- Offered (Committed to Texas)
Brandon Fanaika- Offered
Brandon is the top in state recruit left on the board, but is still a few months from a decision, wanting to take all of his official visits. He's looking for an SEC offer and wants to get the experience of a visit down south, but it ultimately looks like a three horse race with Utah, BYU, and Stanford. The Utes appear to have jumped back up to the top of the heap, and a commitment from cousin Jeremiah Poutasi could help solidify things and send Fanaika to the U.
Hiva Lutui- Offered (Commited to UCLA)
Lutui committed to UCLA over the summer, but still plans on visiting Utah at some point, likely after the season. With the likelihood of a coaching change for the Bruins, things could open up, although his good friend and high school teammate Laui Moeakiola committed to the Bruins recently. He could end up at any of the three spots on the line, although guard is his likely destination.
J.J. Dielman- Offered
Utah was the first school to offer Dielman and that has meant a lot to him. He's seen more offers come his way and has started taking visits, but Utah won't receive one until after the season. The Utes are still in a good place and possibly the favorites, but if he waits too long, there might not be any spots left.
Tavita Taito- Offered
Taito picked up an offer from Utah over the summer and has offers from most of the Pac 12. He's an under the radar guy that a lot of people don't know about and has been fairly quiet throughout the process. He's indicated that Utah will get a serious look and has them in his top four.
Junior Salt- Offered (JC)
Salt is high on Utah and has a JC teammate in Koliniasi Leota, who has Utah at the top of his list as well. Salt will visit Utah officially and is originally from Utah, with plenty of family still here. The Utes appear to be in the driver's seat for his services.
Others to Watch
Trevis McCoy (JC)
Tim Hines- Offered
Matt Cochran- Offered
Cochran is down to a final four and Utah is in the mix. He'll be heading to Salt Lake City for his all-important final visit in January. The Utes are still probably on the outside looking in at this time, but they do get the last shat at the mammoth prospect, who's younger brother is also receiving attention from the Utah staff.
Others to Watch
Ryan Williams (JC)
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