Kyle Whittingham and his staff have signed 25 new Ute recruits.
Feb. 7, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY -
(Please choose PDF to view roster and player bios).
Head coach Kyle Whittingham received 20 signed National Letters of Intent today, which combined with five mid-year junior college signees, brings Utah's 2007 football class to 25. The recruits include 18 high school and seven junior college players.
With just four defensive starters returning from last season's Armed Forces Bowl champion team, the majority of the scholarships tendered were for defensive players. The Utah coaches addressed their biggest need by signing eight defensive backs - the most of any position. They're bringing in four defensive linemen and four linebackers, as well.
The offensive position that picked up the most new players was quarterback, where junior Brian Johnson and senior Tommy Grady are the only scholarship returners. Of the three incoming quarterbacks, Griff Robles plans to serve an LDS church mission before enrolling in school. Outside of quarterback, virtually all of Utah's offensive skill players return from 2006, leaving one scholarship for a wide receiver, two for running backs (freshman Eddie Wide is listed as a combination running back/defensive back) and two for tight ends.
Said Whittingham, "We're excited about our recruiting efforts this year and feel we've put together another solid class. Our basic philosophy of recruiting the most talented players, regardless of position, and being willing to move guys around has not changed. This year's recruiting emphasis was on the defensive side of the ball. We lost several starters from last year's team but feel we were able to offset those losses with our defensive signees.
"We were also very pleased with the success rate we had as far as getting players committed in relation to the number of official visits that were made to our campus. This success was due not only to the hard work of our assistant coaches, but also the great job our players already in the program did in hosting the visiting athletes.
"We made a concerted effort to recruit Texas and we feel we accomplished this objective with the five players we were able to sign. Of course, we always look first at the best talent in the state of Utah, and California and Hawaii are longtime recruiting hotbeds for us."
California recruits led the way with 11 signing on with the Utes, followed by Texas (five) and Utah (four). Other states represented are Hawaii and Nevada, with two each, and Virginia, with one.
Of the five junior college players to sign during the mid-year period, three are enrolled at Utah for spring semester: defensive line Koa Misi, defensive back Deshawn Richard and quarterback Chad Manis. Two others - defensive backs Robert Johnson and Josh Broughton - are expected to join the team later.
Freshmen planning to serve LDS church missions prior to enrolling in school include Robles, defensive back Mike Honeycutt and tight end Westlee Tonga.