The state of Utah is loaded with talented class of 2018 prospects, most of whom Utah is very much in the mix for. After breaking down film of the state’s best prospects, UteZone’s Steve Bartle presents its top 10 prospects to watch before the summer camp season hits. With several four star prospects in the mix, here is the breakdown of Steve’s top in-state prospects:
Latu is at the top of our list because he possesses elite potential at a premier position. He has great size at 6-foot-5 inches and 235 pounds, long arms, great athleticism, and a mean streak. Latu possesses an ability to read and react very quickly, and his physical attributes make it darn near impossible to keep him from making a play. He displays good balance & flexibility to bend around the edge or stunt inside, convert speed to power, and he shows very active hands. He’ll add weight in college and should be a terror at DE, I see a lot of Kylie Fitts in his game.
Game Film: http://www.hudl.com/v/1gGb22
Where most have Sewell No. 1 in the state, he comes in after Latu for me, however I do believe that Sewell is more ready right away. Already a very large human being at 6’5” 330 lbs, and he still moves extremely well, which allows Sewell to physically dominate at the high school level. I think he has enough quickness & mobility to succeed at OT, however a move inside to OG might be in his best interest. He already shows very good ability as a puller, thanks to his physical traits and he quickly finds his target and destroys it.
Game Film: http://www.hudl.com/v/1gGx1Z
Probably the most diverse athlete in the state, Masina can do just about anything on the field. I think his biggest strength is his play diagnosis and decisiveness. He recognizes opportunities to make plays that others don’t. Standing 6’4” 210 lbs, Masina also has great athletic traits to succeed, as his initial quickness, range, tenacity, and effort are all very good. He simply has a knack for making big plays. I think Masina’s best position is as a versatile DE/OLB, in the mold of Trevor Reilly and Nate Orchard.
Game Film: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/5113135/58321dfddfd8b905a80adb83
An Elite 11 Finals invitee, Cooper is the best Utah QB since Cooper Bateman. He’s a tall, wiry QB, that has pretty good athleticism to create outside of pocket when things breakdown. His throwing motion is not the prettiest, but show me a lefty that is. He gets the ball out rather quickly and has the arm strength to make all the throws. His arm talent is rather impressive because he’s accurate in a variety of throws. He can rifle a ball through a small window to a receiver running a slant, he can take some heat off and lob it over defenders, and his ball placement is very good as he throws to keep his receivers on their routes without having to slow up or extend too much.
Game Film: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/3313671/57cc67e87bd2f51a545b0105
Another year, another Pututau, and Tennessee might be the best of the bunch. He is the cousin of the other three Pututau’s but plays a very similar game. He’s built similarly at 6’2” 210 lbs, but he projects to grow into a DE/DT in college. Physically he shows great explosion, balance, and strength. He’s pretty good at quickly reading & reacting to the play at the line of scrimmage, he finds the ball and usually is able to finish the play off.
Game Film: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/6004028/57ea0d6cf61708961c1ea43a
East Linemen (Sam Vakalahi, Paul Maile, Junior Angilau)
Alright, I admit, this is somewhat of a cop out, but for good reason. Each of these guys show similar strengths and weaknesses, so I grouped them together to allow me to talk about others. This may be the best group of linemen the state of Utah has ever seen. The thing about linemen coming out of East is they’re all really good run blockers due to the offense they run. However, the pass blocking leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions because there’s just not as much tape. Each of these kids are extremely strong at the point of attack, they’re light on their feet, and are downright nasty. Vakalahi is currently the only 4-star of the group, but I actually prefer Angilau and Maile because they are a bit taller and longer. Make no mistake, each of these kids are very good linemen.
Sam Vakalahi Game Film: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4055303/583c7e22dfd8b72524be00dc
Junior Angilau Game Film: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4038774/587c88b75b3cb03b40f5b9ed
Paul Maile Game Film: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4038730/57e35673688ec2213caeb9c9
Holker is a very impressive athlete and looks like one of the better TE prospects to come out of the state. He benefits from playing with the top QB in the state in Cooper, but oftentimes Holker creates opportunities that aren’t there for Cooper to take advantage of. He has a good build on his 6’4 frame to pair with great speed and fluidity. He shows good hands, good route running, and good awareness locating the ball and defenders.
This kid is my favorite local prospect this year. First thing, his hudl tape is almost 13 minutes long of him making plays, for a DT that’s pretty impressive. The thing that I love about Cravens is that he’s not physically dominant but he completely controls the game through great technique, non-stop effort, and good mental awareness. Once the ball is snapped, you’ll see him fire out of his stance, get his hands-on guys, then looking and diagnosing what’s going on around him and reacting accordingly. He can stack (hold position on the line) and shed single & double team blocks like nobody’s business. Very active hands to get guys off of him and has the athleticism to finish off those plays.
Game Film: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/5528510/5846594b5b3cb01064702063
He’s got the name and he’s got the game to go with it. Lotulelei is primarily an offensive lineman, and has the necessary size, strength, and athleticism to be a good one at the college level. He moves well in both pass blocking and run blocking, especially when pulling. He plays with a good base and short choppy steps, which may not seem like much but are very good habits for linemen.
Game Film: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4220196/582008b6688ec4e4a42d5d72
The last spot is always the toughest, but I went with Pay because he’s got tremendous size at 6’6” and 290 pounds for a high school lineman and he simply looks the part. Most kids his size are clunkers, meaning they aren’t the lightest on their feet, but Pay still moves rather well, even out in space. He’s effective pass blocking as he has a good anchor, he gets to his spots, and he’s just difficult for defenders to get around.
Game Film: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/5358234/583ba6dec124d701a42a4580