Urban Meyer is fired up about his new recruiting class.
Feb. 4, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY - For complete information on Utah's signing class, see previous posting.
Utah head football coach Urban Meyer and his staff received 18 signed National Letters of Intent today, bringing the total number of players in the 2004 Utah signing class to 25. Joining today's signees are two mid-year junior college transfers and five other "initial counters" who are already enrolled in school at the U.
The 2004 class includes 17 incoming freshmen, six junior college transfers and two transfers from four-year universities. The new Utes hail from eight states and American Samoa. The breakdown by territory/state follows: California (7), Utah (4), Hawaii (4), Texas (3), American Samoa (3), Arizona (1), Florida (1), Kansas (1) and Wyoming (1).
"Our immediate needs were at running back and defensive back and we feel very good about the quality and quantity of the players we signed at those positions," said Meyer. Depending on where a couple of players look like they can help out the most, Utah's coaches signed four to five running backs and six to seven defensive backs. Other needs were filled on the defensive line (5), offensive line (3) and at wide receiver (3-5).
"We needed to capitalized on our success of this past season in our recruiting and I feel like we accomplished that," said Meyer. "Recruiting is all about putting a puzzle together and our coaches did a really nice job in fitting together 25 new pieces. Ideally, we'd like to get to where we take almost entirely freshmen who will be here for four to five years, but we needed some JC guys for immediate help. We are confident that players like Paul Soliai and Quinton Ganther will do just that."
Meyer was pleased with Utah's success recruiting the Islands this year. "In my opinion, we got the best player out of Hawaii in Ray Stowers, and we got two big time players from American Samoa in Paul Soliai and Terrence Apted," he said.
Here is what Meyer had to say about the recruits considered to be Utah's biggest catches:
Paul Soliai, OL: "Paul is our top recruit. He was recruited nationally and he will make an immediate impact on our offensive line. He is a tremendous talent who has NFL potential."
Terrence Apted, DL/OL: "Terrence was a very highly recruited young man who turned down several Pac-10 offers to come to Utah. He has great natural ability."
Quinton Ganther, RB: "Quinton is a JC tailback whom we expect to come right in and battle for playing time immediately. He is an explosive runner, with good power and speed."
Brian Johnson, QB: "Brian is the type of quarterback we're looking for to run this offense. He has the ability to throw and run and he is very smart. It helps that our offense is similar to what he ran in high school, since he will be our first backup in the fall."
Justin Weatherall-Walker, WR/DB: "Justin is a terrific athlete who can play on both sides of the ball. We'll probably start out looking at him as a wide receiver."
Ray Stowers, RB: "Ray may be the top player in the state of Hawaii this year. He is big and powerful and has a bright future with our program."