Feb. 6, 2008
The University of Utah announced a class of 15 recruits on National Letter of Intent Day. The Utes have received signed commitments from 11 high school seniors and four junior college transfers.
The offense gained the most - with 11, and maybe more - players in this signing class (two recruits are listed as both offensive and defensive players). Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and his staff loaded up on receivers by signing five. Another area of emphasis was the offensive line, the position of choice for at least three of the newcomers.
Whittingham was pleased with his fourth recruiting class as Utah's head coach. "We feel that we have put together another solid recruiting class that has a lot of talent and potential. We held true to our philosophy of recruiting the best players, regardless of position, and we became a more athletic team with this class. As is typical, this year's class is predominantly made up of high school players, combined with a few junior college recruits to fill our immediate needs.
"Football games are won and lost in the trenches and we feel fortunate that five quality linemen have committed to us. Another area of emphasis was at wide receiver and we anticipate the five players we signed will make this a very competitive position on our team for years to come.
"Recruiting the state of Utah is always a priority for us and we couldn't be more pleased with the five players we signed. We also return three instate players from LDS missions this year and awarded scholarships to three other instate walk-on players already in the program, bringing our total to 11. California continues to be a fertile recruiting ground for us as well. In addition to five Californians, we recruited two Connecticut natives out of California junior colleges.
"Our assistant coaches and players did an outstanding job of selling Utah football to our recruits. We beat out some very good schools for these players, and the primary reason for that was the hard work and effort on the part of our coaches and team members."
Geographically, California (5) and Utah (5) contributed the most players to this year's class. The Utes picked up two players from Arizona and Connecticut, and one from Nevada. Mid-year junior college transfer Lamar Chapman plans to enroll in school later this month and will be eligible to participate in spring ball. The other 14 commitments plan to join the team in the fall.
Utah will also welcome four returned LDS missionaries back to the program for the 2008 season. Linebacker Gary Bird, offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom and defensive back Grayson Dart are enrolled in spring semester classes, while linebacker Afa Garrigan plans a May return.