When it comes to recruiting at Utah over the last couple years, there isn't a group that's improved more than the offensive line. Largely responsible for that turnaround is offensive line coach/co-offensive coordinator Jim Harding, who has worked hard to identify and recruit talented linemen to build the depth necessary to compete in the Pac-12. That has continued this year, and Buena Park OT Ryan Nelson is one of the Utes' top targets.
Nelson has received a ton of attention, as currently holds holds 17 offers from programs spread across the country, with 6 of those offers coming from those in the Pac-12. With so much attention, Nelson isn't ready to focus on a select few, "I don't really have a top 5 or 10, as I'm still open to everyone, but there are some that are standing out like Utah, Virginia, and Arizona," Nelson said.
At 6-foot-5 inches, 260 pounds, Ryan has great size as an offensive lineman. However, college coaches are more impressed with other aspects of his game. "They like my athleticism and how fluid I am, they like how I'm a student of the game, and that I'm very coachable, I'm always trying to learn and better myself," he claimed.
As one might guess, Harding is heavily involved with Ryan's recruitment and he's making a good impression, "Coach Harding's a real cool coach. I like him. I like his coaching style and you can tell he does a great job coaching his players," said Nelson.
Nelson also has two other connections to the program in former teammate Keven Dixon and his current head coach at Buena Park Anthony White who, is a Utah alumnus. "They don't really recruit me or push me to Utah. They tell me about the good things at Utah, but they also tell me to make the best decision for me," he said.
Ryan recently visited the Utah program and liked what he saw. "I was on an unofficial visit and I actually really loved it out there. It was really nice seeing Salt Lake City. We just checked out the campus, facilities, the dorms, basically how I would be spending my day as a recruit. In regards to the football program, it's a good program. If a guy wants to go and win, that's a good place to go," he explained.
Nelson currently only has two visits scheduled neither of which are to Utah. "I have some visits planned, right now to Arizona & Virginia, I'm trying to figure out when I can get a 3rd one planned but we'll." Nelson currently does not have a time table of when he wants to commit, as he's pretty focused on his football season, so a decision might not come until after the season. While Utah is in a good position, they also have some work to do.