Everything you need to know and what actually matters about the 2019 Utah Ute recruiting class.
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It’s a smallish class of just 18 prospects, but it’s packed with more then enough solid players to keep this all going. It might not have been one of the Pac-12’s better classes, but that’s because of the lack of bulk. However, that means the stars have to hit. And …
So here’s the big question. Darren Jones is a massive 6-8 receiver who had Georgia, USC and Florida after him. He’s one of the best prospects in the class, and JUCO transfer OT LaColby Tucker has the talent to be an instant part of the offensive line puzzle. However, they both need to get the academic sides of their respective worlds cleared up before they can play.
The skill players are fantastic, even without a quarterback. The running back tandem of Jordan Wilmore and Micah Bernard is solid, and Donte Banton and Sione Vaki are good prospects, even if neither one is at the same level as Jones.
These are interesting times at quarterback. There weren’t any signed with this class, and last year’s star get is gone. Jack Tuttle transferred to Indiana, but the Utes landed former Texas recruit Cameron Rising as a key transfer. He’ll be a key part of the puzzle in 2020 – Tyler Huntley and Jason Shelley are the main men for this year.
National Signing Day went really, really well. After not doing too much during the early signing period, head coach Kyle Whittingham nailed it by landing seven strong players. Just pencil in JUCO transfer Bamidele Olaseni somewhere on the offensive line, and 330-pound DT Simote Pepa was literally a large get.
Last year was massive at defensive end, but the last few classes were missing the bulk number of defensive tackles. That’s going to be one of the key focuses of the 2020 haul, along with linebacker. Only three have been singed over the last two seasons.
Good luck trying to replace PK Matt Gay, but Ben Lennon will help give it a shot. The Australian is just an okay prospect, but he’ll likely get tried out at punter, too.
It’s a nice class. The parts fit, and Whittingham is fantastic at talent evaluation for what he and the program needs. Again, mainly because of the lack of prospects – and a few question marks with the guys who landed – this is a mid-range Pac-12 class. It might have been the smallest in the league, but it’ll still work.