As February slowly approaches, the Utah coaching staff has been deliberate in pulling together the recruiting class of 2017. With a signing class that is expected to be relatively small, Ute coaches are taking great care in their evaluation and recruiting process. UteZone breaks down the biggest positions of need for the class,
Returning Players: Raelon Singleton (SO), Tyrone Smith (SO), Demari Simpkins (FR), Kyle Fulks (JR), Caleb Repp (SO), Siaosi Wilson (FR), Kenric Young (JR), Terrell Burgess (FR)*, Samson Nacua (FR)**, Alec Dana (SO), Jameson Field (SO)
(*denotes Burgess could play cornerback, **denotes Nacua could play safety).
Departing Players: Tim Patrick, Cory Butler-Byrd
Returning Missionaries: N/A
What's Next: Although they'll lose Patrick and Butler-Byrd, Utah returns several receivers that have either started or have played significant reps. Raelon Singleton has emerged as a full-time starter, and Tyrone Smith has started games in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Freshmen Demari Simpkins and Siaosi Wilson have also emerged this season as playmakers.
For the class of 2017, Utah has done well recruiting at the receiver spot, landing Texans Tyquez Hampton and Jaylen Dixon. Both receivers have unique skill sets that they bring to the table. Hampton is a big, physical outside receiver in the mold of former Ute Kenneth Scott. Dixon is a slot receiver with tremendous speed that is dangerous when he gets the ball in space. Both look like solid additions to the receiver corps. Despite the two commitments, Utah is still actively recruiting receivers. LSU commit Manny Netherly and West Virginia commit Michael Harley have already visited Salt Lake City officially. Illinois commit Carmoni Green and Kentucky commit Josh Ali are expected to visit in the next few weeks. California receiver Bryan Thompson visited last week, and the Utes have made an impression on him as well. Ute fans should look for the Utah staff to pull in one more receiver before it's all said and done.