Breaking Down Utah's 2012 Recruiting Class

Looking at each and every prospect in Utah's stellar 2012 recruiting class...

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JC- Junior College Transfer
EE- Early Entry
S&S- Sign and Send

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WR/DB Bryan Allen:  
Allen appears to be one of the more ready prospects to come in and compete right away. He'll get the nod at receiver to start, but could easily end up on the defensive side of the ball at corner or safety depending on need or fit. He's long and moves well, with decent hips and good hands. Definitely fits the mold of one of those diamond in the rough types that Morgan Scalley loves to pluck out of Texas.

 
OL J.J Dielman
Dielman is an under the radar prospect that Utah is bringing in to play center. They were his first offer, but he picked up many more throughout the process including a late one from Arizona State. He'll need to add a lot of weight before he contributes, but is very coachable and works hard. Is the kind of kid that you love to have in your program.

 
DL Hunter Dimick (EE)
Hunter Dimick was dominant at the high school level in 2011 picking up double digit sacks while facing double and triple teams consistently. He'll be enrolling early and participating in spring ball giving the local product a head start on his college career. Dimick should start out at defensive end, but could slide inside eventually to the tackle spot.

 
DL Moses Folauhola
Foluahola is a big kid that could end up at linebacker, defensive end, or even fullback. He's still a project, but has a big time motor. With the right coaching and development, could be another local steal.

 
QB Chase Hansen: (EE)
Hansen is the Gatorade State Player of the Year and arguably the best prospect in Utah. He was recruited by many schools to play on defense, but chose to come to Utah where he'll get his first look as a quarterback. Hansen intends on taking a mission after his freshman season, but a lack of QB depth could force him into action this season, which could throw off the mission plans for next year. He's wouldn't have been the ideal quarterback for Norm Chow's pro-style offense, but with the move back to the spread, his skill set will fit perfectly into what Utah intends to do. Hansen is the ultimate winner and will make play after play, willing his team to victory.

 
LB Reshawn Hooker
Hooker is drawing comparisons to former Utah linebacker Stevenson Sylvester. The Southern California product picked the Utes over a host of other big offers and is being looked at as one of the players most likely to contribute right away. He's a tremendous pass rusher, but also has the ability to drop into coverage well. Hooker is a very heady player and someone the Utah coaches are going to love.

 
LB Jake Jackson (S&S)
Jackson is another in the sign and send category. The linebacker out of Southern California is an athletic and heady player who will add depth to the linebacking corps when he returns in 2014.

 
OL Lio Lafaele
Looking for a surprise player that could end up outperforming his ranking? Lafaele is your guy. He's battled injuries, weight issues, and motivation at times, but when working hard and focused, Lafaele is a dominant offensive lineman with loads of potential. Whether or not he reaches it will depend largely on how much he wants it.

 
DB Austin Lee (S&S)
There may not be a more polished and ready player from Utah's high school commitments than Austin Lee. The safety out of Alta is highly skilled and as fundamentally sound as it gets. He'll be heading out on a mission before ever setting foot on the field so Ute fans will have wait until 2014 to see Lee in action.

 
DL Koliniasi Leota (JC)
Leota is a JC transfer and good friends with fellow signee Junior Salt. He's very athletic and could end up on the outside at defensive end or slide inside to play defensive tackle if he bulks up a bit. Leota will be a strong candidate to come in right away and fill the defensive end spot vacated by Derrick Shelby.

 
OL Zach Lindsay
Lindsay is an intriguing prospect with tremendous size, but a project that will take a couple of years to develop. He was a BYU commit before flipping to Utah. If he works hard and stays focused, Lindsay has the potential to be the best lineman in the Utah class.

 
OL Carlos Lozano (JC)
Lozano will be one of the biggest players in the country, tipping the scales at around 400 pounds. He'll need to get in better shape if he wants to play, but at his height and ability will be able to compete for a starting spot on the line immediately. If nothing else, he adds more depth and should break the two deep in 2012.

 
OL Hiva Lutui

Lutui is Utah's highest rated recruit after they beat out the likes of UCLA, USC, and BYU for the nation's number 3 rated center. He's not the biggest guy in terms of height, but carries his weight well and plays with one of the nastiest streaks of any 2012 prospects in the country. He has the kind of skills to come in right away and make an impact at either guard or center as a member of the two deep. Tremendous get for the Utes and a perfect fit in terms of personality and makeup for this program.

 
DB Alphonso Marsh
Alphonso Marsh comes to Utah with a lot of hype despite a tough senior year and injuries that plagued him in high school. With his height and skills, Marsh might be a better fit at safety if he can add some weight. With some solid coaching, he could be another good one, but has a lot of work to do to be successful at the next level. The most important aspect of landing Marsh may have been getting into inner-city Los Angeles and landing a kid that will help develop a pipeline with Compton-Dominguez High School.

 
WR Delshawn McClellon
McClellon is the recruiter. The speedster out of Los Angeles is largely responsible for helping Utah land multiple commits in the 2012 class. McClellon has legitimate 4.3 speed and set multiple receiving records, including finishing 3rd on the California state all time receptions list. He could be a candidate to get some reps as a true freshman as the coaches will find it hard to keep his speed off of the field.

 
LB/DE Moana Ofahengaue
Still not sure what to make of Moana Ofahengaue. He's got the frame to add weight and bulk up to around 250 pounds if the coaches want him there, but is still a bit thin and VERY raw. He has long arms and very good athleticism, but lacks football skills at the moment. Will be a major project, but could pay off tremendously down the line at either the defensive end or linebacker spot.

 
DL Tenny Palepoi (JC)
Palepoi picked the Utes over the two local non-BCS schools in Utah State and BYU on the eve of signing day. He's a big body who could end up at either spot on the defensive line, but has indicated that the coaching staff wants him to come in as a defensive end. He'll add depth to a line that needs it after losing a few players to graduation and should be in the two deep rotation.

 
DB Reginald Porter
Porter may be the biggest unknown of the entire class. He's a tremendous athlete who played quarterback in high school, but will line up as a cornerback at Utah. Porter comes to the Utes out of Louisiana, the second straight year that Utah has plucked a recruit out of the Bayou State.

 
OL Nua Poteki (S&S)
Poteki committed to the Utes shortly after their Elite Camp in June and never looked anywhere else. He has great size and could be even bigger once he returns from his mission in 2014. A project player, it will likely take few years for the local big man to see the field, even after he returns to the U.

 
OL Jeremiah Poutasi
On paper, Poutasi looks like one of the crown jewels of the class. He had had offers from all over and ultimately decided on Utah over Oregon and a host of others. He's big, athletic, and fundamentally sound. Will come in and compete for a spot in the two deep immediately assuming his body is where it needs to be.

 
OL Marc Pouvave (JC)
The Utes need immediate help on the offensive line and Pouvave brings toughness and a work hard attitude. He's not the most skilled offensive lineman, but Utah needs bodies and guys that can help right away and Pouvave will be in the mix for one the five starting spots. He's a much better run blocker than pass blocker and could end up inside at guard, but may be forced outside to tackle if needed.

 
DT Junior Salt (JC)
Salt was formerly commited to Florida, but flipped to the Utes and the chance to stay home and play in front of friends and family. The JC lineman can play on either side of the ball but is being brought in as a defensive tackle to start. He's an absolute giant and will provide depth at the DT spot, if not win the starting spot outright.

 
DE Pasoni Tasini (S&S)
Tasini is one of the biggest unknowns in the class. He's a sign and send so the athlete won't see the field for some time, but he was dominant in Hawaii his senior year. Utah will bring him in as a defensive end, but he could bulk up into a tackle down the line. Raw with a lot of upside.

 
CB Justin Thomas
Thomas may be the most ready to contribute of any high school players in Utah's class. The cornerback out of Texas comes in at a position of need and is close to being college ready. He initially intended on enrolling early, but will instead come over the summer. He's an elite corner out of Texas, a place where Utah has done a great job of grabbing DBs and turning them into big time players. Thomas is very athletic and could also end up as a receiver if needed, but projects better as a corner.

 
DE Sione Tupouata (JC)
Tupouata is a JC transfer from Snow who took the 2011 year off to concentrate on his academics. Originally part of the 2010 class, he will likely end up as a defensive end, although he's been known to play some running back. Very athletic and should be ready to contribute immediately.

 
DT Vaha Vainuku (S&S)
Vainuku is one of the most underrated players in the class. Utah was in on him for a long time, but didn't offer until late December. Vainuku didn't waste his time and committed shortly after. He'll provide depth to the defensive line, but could also flip over and play offensive guard if that ends up being a better spot. Regardless, don't be surprised to see him turn into the next great Utah defensive tackle down the line.

 
QB Travis Wilson (EE)
Norm Chow picked up his quarterback of the future in Travis Wilson back in May and the Utes hung on despite interest from a few other schools all the way up to signing day. The problem now is that Chow is no longer the offensive coordinator, and with the change in offensive system coming, there will be questions as to how a pro-style QB in Wilson fits into the spread that Utah will be running. The signal caller out of Southern California has underrated athleticism and is a high ceiling player, but will take time to develop and likely won't be a serious contender for playing time for another year or two.

 
RB Kelvin York (JC-EE)
York was initially a USC commit, but the Trojans backed off after a torn meniscus and York picked the Utes over Washington. He's a big back with very good speed, and if healthy, should complement John White very well with his size and inside running ability. That's all a big if though, depending largely on whether or not York fully recovers from his injury.

Breakdown
7 Junior College
21 High School
5 Sign and Send
2 Quarterbacks
1 Running Back
2 Wide Receivers


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