Recruiting Reset- Defense

Looking at the commits and remaining targets for Utah's 2013 class

There are a couple of recruits committed to other schools that we won't place on here, due to the fact that they don't want their visits or the fact that they are looking at Utah at this, time made public.

Defensive Line

Commits
Vili Levini
Sam Tevi
Myron Aiava

Targets
Lyndon Tulimasealii
Kyle Peko (JC)
Joe Mathis
Lowell Lotulelei
Vita Vea
Ofa Hautau (JC)
Gaius Vaenuku

Utah needs help on the defensive line in this class as much as anywhere on the team. They've got a couple of commits, with Levini possibly ending up as a hybrid end/linebacker type of guy. Aiava has the body to turn into a DT eventually, while Tevi is most likely to be an end.

Ideally, Utah is going to want to bring in two more tackles with one being a high school guy and the other coming from the junior college ranks. Tulimasealii has already visited and enjoyed it, but Utah doesn't look like the frontrunner right now. Peko visited this past weekend and we're told it went very well, but again, there are other big time suitors for Utah to beat out and Nebraska is rumored to be the leader. Lowell Lotulelei is an enigma right now. He visited Washington officially, but has been silent about the visit and where things stand. Utah was once teh heavy favorite, but where he ends up is anyone's guess at this point. Vea is an intriguing prospect. The Utah coaches really like the 6-3.5, 280 pound athlete. Vea should be visiting at some point.

Vaenuku has been up and down throughout the process. Most expected him to commit to Utah over the summer, but that didn't and now he has interest from all over. The Utes are still the favorites, but schools like TCU, Oklahoma, and Missouri are still in the mix. Mathis is the creme de la creme of the remaining targets. He's another hybrid guy and would be an immediate impact player. He recently told us on the UTEcast that Utah was at the top of his list and the more we hear about the situation and talk with Joe, the more we believe he'll be a Ute.

Linebacker

Commits
Uaea Masina
Filipo Mokofisi

Targets
Myles Jack (Committed to UCLA)
Tigi Hill
D'Vante Henry

Linebacker isn't a big priority in this class with the Utes having a ton of youngsters currently in the fold. Masina could end up anywhere from safety to defensive end, but is probably best suited as an outside linebacker. He'll enroll early and participated in spring ball. Mokofisi is very raw, but will be another one of those hybrid type players. He has mission plans, and could end up being a sign and send.

Jack is committed to UCLA and said he'll visit Utah in January, but if he does flip to another school it will almost certainly be Washington. Hill is a JC target that the Utes were after a year ago and the level of interest on both sides is unknown. Henry visited Utah a few weeks ago and came away impressed, but they're battling quite a few high profile schools and getting him to Utah is looking less and less likely.

Cornerback

Commits
Davion Orphey
Dominique Hatfield
Marcellus Pippins
Carlos Henderson
D.J. Dean

Targets
Ronald Tyler
Chidobe Awuzie

The Utes have five commits at cornerback, shoring up an area that was a big miss in the 2012 class. Henderson is a real athlete who has been tearing up Louisiana. With his brother already in his second year at Utah, Carlos is rock solid. Orphy flipped from BYU in October and is the only JC corner commit on-board. Pippins has been committed for awhile, but will take visits to Boise State and Washington State at some point in January. Dean might be the best prospect of the group. He's a dynamic athlete, playing QB in the Texas, and is as solid as anyone in the class. Hatfield surprised a few people after committing in October, and has seen the interest level from other schools really pick up. He may end up visiting a few other schools, and Utah is going to have their work cut out for them to hang on to the kid if he looks around. Marcellus Pippins is in the same boat and has indicated that he'll take other visits. Utah will keep guys like Tyler and Awuzie warm while the work to keep the guys that are currently committed, but if don't land anymore corners, the coaches will still be very happy with the class.

Safety

Commits
Tevin Carter

Targets
Micah Thomas
Tyler Foreman (Committed to Wisconsin)

The Utes aren't pursuing a ton of safeties in this class, and with Carter on board now, may end up just taking one. Thomas says he'll visit in January, but if spots fill up before then, he may not make it out. If he does though, and Utah can fit him in, they're his current leader. Things will open back up for Foreman now that Brett Bielema has left for Arkansas. Utah was in his final four when the four star made his pledge to Wisconsin, but we're told that they were a distant fourth with Oklahoma and UCLA also ahead of the Utes.

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