Incoming Player Projections: Alani Havili

What to expect from incoming defensive tackle Alani Havili-Katoa for the 2014 season

Alani Havili-Katoa was another one of Utah's early commits in the 2014 recruiting class, and was also another in state prospect that decided to enroll at Utah a semester early in order to participate in Spring Ball. Havili-Katoa played at Stansbury High School in Tooele, Utah, and was a standout on the defensive side of the ball during his junior and senior season, as he totaled 109 tackles and 4 sacks in those 2 seasons.

Utah offered Havili-Katoa during the summer before his junior season, after he had participated in the All Poly camp instructed by the Utah coaching staff. He committed to Utah in February of 2013, and Utah was able to fend off other potential suitors for Alani, as Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Arizona made late pushes at the 6'3-295 lb defensive tackle.

When you watch Alani's film, the one thing that stands out is his strength. He was able to bull rush basically every offensive lineman he faced, and he used his vastly superior strength to win a lot of one on one, and double team battles. He was great at getting penetration in high school, but also has the tools to develop in to a gap stuffer, which is a position that is vitally important to Utah's defensive scheme.

As mentioned, Havili-Katoa was one of two high school recruits to graduate early and participate in Spring Ball with the rest of the Utah football program. Normally, an early enrollee can receive a lot attention throughout Spring Ball, as they're usually one of the newest faces on the team. That wasn't the case for Havili-Katoa, as he stayed relatively quiet throughout the five week session. Alani saw reps mostly with the third team defense during Spring Ball, and while he didn't make any standout plays, he wasn't making any glaring mistakes either. While Spring Ball isn't the greatest of indicators who who's going to be playing in actual games, it does hold some merit about where players stand on the depth chart.

Prediction: While there's not a lot of returning experience on the defensive line, there is a lot of returning talent, as well as some very good incoming talent as well. Havili-Katoa has some work to do in order to get his body and mind right in order to contribute on a deep defensive line, and while he is talented, he is not expected to see playing time as a true freshman. Expect to see him redshirt this fall.

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