Utah Recruiting Reset- Defense

Utah has done a great job in California and Texas landing players on the defensive side of the ball in years past. That continues in 2011. Here is where the Utes currently stand defensively with their 2011 recruiting class:

Defensive End

Jordan Robles, younger brother of current Utes quarterback Griff Robles, is a promising defensive end. While not the quickest player out there, Robles has a real nose for the ball and a knack for making plays. If he can add a little bit of weight, he might be a candidate to move inside to one of the tackle positions, assuming he doesn't add anymore height to his 6'5" frame.

Uncommitted players with offers are Devonte Wilson, Steve Dillon, Stephon Sanders, and Aulelio Olomua. Any of the four would be a nice grab, and the Utes will probably take two if they get them. Expect them to add at least one of those four.

Defensive Tackle

Seni Fauonuku out of Bingham High in South Jordan chose the Utes over an offer from Washington State. Fauonuku has good speed for a DT and gets into the backfield with ease in both running and passing situations. A strong player with a good build, he's a solid pickup.

Defensive tackle is one of the hardest positions to develop talent, so bringing in at least one more is likely. The biggest get would be Antwaun Woods out of Taft High School in Southern California. Woods is the 5th ranked DT in the country and recently set up an official visit to see the Utes. He's a soft verbal to USC at the moment, but the thinking is that he won't end up here.

The Utes haven't offered any other defensive tackles yet, but look for them to do so. If they don't land Woods, a JC guy is a strong possibility.


Linebacker Jared Norris is perfect fit for the Utes. A great athlete that flies to the ball, he reminds me a lot of Stevenson Sylvester. I'm surprised he doesn't have more offers and expect that to change during his senior season. Norris is pretty versatile and can play inside or outside at the linebacker spots. He is solidly committed to the Utes and it probably stays that way even if he receives bigger offers.

Tevita Bloomfield is an under the radar outside linebacker the Utes picked up a verbal from recently.

Uncommitted players with offers include David Santos, Leilon Willingham, and Eddie Yarborough. Santos is a high school teammate of commit Eric Rowe, which could work in the Utes' favor.

Anticipate at least one, and maybe two more linebackers coming in with this class. The Utes like athletes, so outside linebackers that can cover are more than likely the priority.


Ryan Henderson recently put on a show at the SPARQ event in last weekend, taking home championship honors. The three star corner out of Southern California is a bit undersized, but oozes athleticism. He's been hearing from quite a few Pac 10 schools, but his only offer outside of the Utes is from Air Force. Expect that to change soon with national interest to pick up and more offers to start rolling in. The fact that Henderson committed the day after his offer from the Utes makes me think he is going to be hard to hold onto.

The Utes have interest in quite a few corners in the 2011 class as uncommitted players Ifo Epkre-Olomu, Joel Willis, Marcus Peters, Ladale Jackson, Marced Kelly, Devon White, and Joe Sampson all have offers. Epkre-Olomu is an elite player that is high on the Utes. I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up at Utah.

Two more corners is likely the case for Utah as they attempt to build more depth at the position.


Keith McGill is a hard hitting JC safety out of California that chose the Utes over Montana, Oregon State, San Jose State, New Mexico, and San Diego State. If he can live up to his measurables and turn in a good season, his recruitment is going to pick up and other offers are going to come. Be wary of early JC commits. They don't seem to stick too often.

Eric Rowe is another underrated player that the Utes went into Texas to grab, beating out the likes of Rice, Arizona, Louisville, and Mississippi, State. He's got decent size, but good speed. He may end up at corner when he comes in.

Joseph Bryant is yet another Texas player committed to Utah. Bryan has good size and may turn into a linebacker at some point if he grows into his frame a little more.

The only uncommitted safety with an Utah offer right now is Rodrick Ryles out of Florida. He has offers from Arkansas and South Florida, among others and will be tough to get out of the South.

Even with three safety commits, the Utes would still like to bring in one to two more. The way Utah moves players around, some of these guys can and will make the move to cornerback, linebacker, receiver, or running back. Safeties are many times the most athletic players on the field and you can never have too many athletes. Just ask USC.

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