The state of Utah continues to put out top talent each year, with a larger talent pool to choose from and more elite prospects. 2017 should top them all.
With the recruiting strides the Utes have made in the last cycle, combined with 19 wins over the last two seasons, things should be ready to pay off, and that needs to start in-state. There are currently 4 top 200 national prospects in the state, and if Utah wants to take the next step, they probably need to get two of them. That's a hard task with two already committed to other Pac 12 schools (Sione Heimuli-Lund to Stanford and former Utah commit Langi Tuifua committed to Oregon), but not something Utah can't overcome before signing day.
Of the four players, the aforementioned Hiemuli-Lund and Tuifua, along with Jay Tufele and Chaz Ah You, two of them are defensive linemen, and one could eventually end up on the line. It's been the biggest position of strength for the Utes during Kyle Whittingham's tenure, producing countless all conference players, a few all americans, and been an NFL pipeline. This needs to be drilled into the heads of Heimuli-Lund, Tuifua, and Tufele repeatedly. Stay home, play for a winning program where you'll be taken care of, develop, be able to play in front of friends and family, maintain your support group, and we'll get you to the NFL. It's a legitimate pitch because it's true.
College programs often tout the ability to develop talent and make you an NFL player. On the defensive line, Utah can show you, they actually can do that, and have done so with great success. There have been too many misses in the state for the Utes, but they seem to be inching towards a greater success rate. If Utah continues to trend in the right direction in 2017, it will mean a lockdown of the top players in the state, and keeping them out of the hands of the Stanfords, USCs, and UCLAs. Want to play with the big boys? Better beat them on the recruiting trail. It's time.null