NCF On The Trail: Utah Utes

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

October, 21, 2014
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Even without a public commitment, the Pac-12 was full of recruiting news this weekend, as every home team hosted visitors and ESPN 300 prospects made their way to each Saturday game. Elsewhere, Arizona State extended an offer to a 2017 quarterback and Utah has a chance to make a big statement.

Pac-12 South recruiting roundup 

October, 16, 2014
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At the halfway point of college football's regular season, there is still plenty to be decided both on the field and on the recruiting trail. The Pac-12 placed six programs among the top 40 recruiting classes in Wednesday's updated class rankings Insider and conference recruiting classes contain as many as 24 -- Arizona -- and as few as nine -- Stanford -- commitments. This update offers a look at where each Pac-12 South program stands with its 2015 recruiting class, including its top prospect and position of strength, as well as a look at where things are going well for each class.

Arizona

Total number of commitments: 24

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ESPN 300 wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey on Tuesday afternoon in a ceremony in front of friends and family.

"I'm really blessed and happy for this moment," St. Brown said. "I never really had my eye on an all-star game. I was just looking forward to going to college. But this is just another blessing on top of it and an opportunity to play with some of the top players in the country."

St. Brown, the nation's No. 51 overall prospect and No. 7 wide receiver, is a hot commodity on the recruiting trail. He holds offers from nearly the entire Pac-12 as well as LSU, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, and others. The Fighting Irish earned the first opportunity to make an impression, as St. Brown took an official visit to South Bend in early October.

"It was a different feeling, getting treated like a VIP," St. Brown said. "It was a fun time."

The next program up on St. Brown's visit schedule is Utah, as the Utes will host the 6-foot-5, 205-pound receiver in early November for their game against Oregon.

"They were one of my first offers and have been recruiting me ever since," St. Brown said of the Utes. "They've been doing good lately, so I'm going to go up there."

After that, it could be anybody's guess. St. Brown said he doesn't have a top group of schools and doesn't know which ones will receive his final three visits. St. Brown is likely to wait until signing day to announce his decision, which will give the in-state programs extended opportunities to make impressions. Stanford, UCLA and USC all remain involved, though there's no guarantee he'll take an official visit to any of them.

"They said it's okay if I take an unofficial visit," St. Brown said of local programs UCLA and USC. "Of course they want me to take officials, but they're okay if I go unofficially."

Seven questions with Equanimeous St. Brown

Who is one player you are looking forward to playing for or against at the Under Armour All-America Game?

"I'm looking forward to playing with Blake Barnett again. He was my quarterback up at The Opening."

If you could start a team with any 2015 recruit, who would it be?

"Travis Waller (St. Brown's high school quarterback)."

What is your earliest football memory?

"Playing flag football with Travis [Waller]. We were about seven."

What football player did you idolize while growing up?

"Growing up I usually played football. I didn't watch much, so I didn't really idolize anybody. Now, I try to play like Calvin Johnson. I think he's my kind of body type, so I try to see what he does."

If you could take on any pro player in their sport, who would it be?

"Richard Sherman."

Why do you wear your number (6)?

"As a junior, all the seniors got to pick first and there were only a few single digits left, so I just took it. I feel like single digits stand out more during games."

What is one thing people might not know about you?

"I like to play a lot of video games."

Help is on the way: Pac-12 

October, 8, 2014
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Through six weeks of the 2014 season, every program has flashed at least one weakness or one position where depth is needed in a hurry. While the incoming batch of 2015 recruits won't help the prospects of the 2014 team, some will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact the following year, as they'll provide depth -- or perhaps jump into starting roles -- at positions of need. Here is a look through the Pac-12 at the biggest areas of need for each program, and the 2015 recruits on the way to provide help.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

October, 7, 2014
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The wild weekend in the Pac-12 wasn't limited to the field, as the recruiting trail saw some significant action as well. Three impact commitments landed in the conference, while three more ESPN 300 prospects took official visits and several big wins by certain programs made an impact with recruits.


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Pac-12 coaches believe upsets by Arizona, Arizona State and Utah could also shake things up in recruiting. Mississippi Madness is in full effect, as both Ole Miss and Mississippi State receive recruiting boosts after big victories.


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A big week for Utah recruiting 

October, 3, 2014
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There won't be many programs that put together a recruiting hot streak quite like the one Utah went on earlier this week. There might not be any others that do so on the heels of a loss to the last place team in its own conference.


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Early Offer: Why MSU going big in 2015 

September, 30, 2014
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What happens when you have a large senior class about to graduate? You target a large recruiting class like Mississippi State is in 2015. Michigan’s recruiting remains in chaos, as another Wolverine commit is having second thoughts.


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Michigan’s efforts on the recruiting trail aren’t going anywhere until something changes. Plus, whoever ends up getting the Kansas job must do whatever he can to keep quarterback Ryan Willis on board.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

September, 28, 2014
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Pac-12 programs loaded up on visitors this weekend and the conference delivered three thrilling finishes on Saturday. The only weekend game in the conference decided by more than one score was USC's blowout win against Oregon State, which came at a perfect time for the Trojans, as they were able to bounce back in front of a number of important recruits.

Stars are out at USC

The USC Trojans put more than a few eggs into Saturday night's basket, bringing committed recruits Chuma Edoga and Aca'Cedric Ware, along with ESPN 300 wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge in on official visits, and also loading up on unofficial visitors. With a convincing 35-10 victory, the strategy appeared to pay off.

Cedar Hill (Texas) High School was very well represented, as 2016 women's basketball prospect Joyner Holmes made the trip alongside Ware and Lodge.
Five-star cornerback Iman Marshall, the No. 8 overall prospect in the nation, made his way to the game and took a photo alongside Edoga and quarterback Caleb Wilson, the son of USC defensive line coach Chris Wilson. Quarterback K.J. Costello, the No. 61 prospect in the 2016 ESPN 300, snapped a shot of the pregame from the sideline. Utes host big weekend despite loss

Like USC, Utah put plenty of effort into bringing in a number of recruits this weekend. Despite the loss to Washington State, the Utes were able to feature wide receiver Kaelin Clay, a junior college receiver, which might have been the perfect recruiting pitch considering they were hosting a trio of junior college receivers in Dede Westbrook, Kyle Fulks and Kinte Hatton. Recruits see power of Bear Raid

Prospects in Berkeley were treated to an offensive explosion between Cal and Colorado, where the Golden Bears were able to put on an offensive show in front of official visitor, junior college wide receiver Isaac Whitney. It was also an intriguing game for local 2016 prospect Camilo Eifler, who holds early offers from both Cal and Colorado, and caught up with former Bishop O'Dowd receiver De'Zhon Grace. Huskies on hand

Washington hung tough with Stanford for four quarters and did so in front of several committed recruits, including wide receiver Isaiah Renfro and 2016 ESPN 300 athlete Brandon Wellington.

Renfro gave future Washington official visitors a glimpse of what they can expect upon arrival to Seattle. Wellington, meanwhile, looked to get a hashtag going, likely on the heels of linebacker Shaq Thompson's third defensive touchdown of the season.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

September, 26, 2014
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The biggest game of the weekend in the Pac-12 -- and perhaps the country -- took place Thursday night between UCLA and Arizona State, but that won't stop the conference from putting together a truly remarkable visit weekend. There are four Pac-12 games on Saturday's docket and, though this is normally a top-three list, this week all four are deserving of mention when it comes to important weekend visitors.

1. USC

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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

September, 23, 2014
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It was a strong weekend for Pac-12 recruiting, as the conference added two potential impact commitments and several programs hosted important visit weekends. While Utah and Washington emerged as obvious winners, UCLA extended an interesting 2016 offer and both California and Washington State looked to take steps forward with recruits.


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Early Offer: What a win for Wilson 

September, 22, 2014
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Missouri and Indiana often tangle on the recruiting trail, but now Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson has a big victory to recruit against the Tigers with. Plus, UCLA and Notre Dame are locked in a battle for the nation's top tight end prospect.

[+] EnlargeKevin Wilson
AJ Mast/Icon SportswireKevin Wilson and Indiana hope to get a recruiting boost from Saturday's 31-27 win against Missouri.
1. Indiana's 31-27 victory against No. 18 Missouri this past Saturday is the type of win that can go a long way on the recruiting trail. Because of its location, Missouri is one of the few SEC schools that actively targets players in the Midwest, and it is quite common for the Hoosiers and Tigers to tangle over players in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and even in St. Louis. For the most part, Mizzou has had its way with IU, but now Hoosier coach Kevin Wilson has a breakthrough win to recruit with. As one Big Ten recruiter told me on Monday, "that's the type of win that can change recruits' minds."

2. On Monday RecruitingNation released the latest edition of the Recruiter Power rankings and UCLA’s Adrian Klemm came in at No. 2 on the list. A big reason why Klemm is ranked so high is because he was able to land ESPN 300 tight end Alize Jones, the No. 1 tight end in the country. However, there’s some legitimate concern in Westwood that Jones could end up at Notre Dame. A source indicated the Bruins are doing everything they can to "fight off Notre Dame's advances." Jones continues to say he’s still with the Bruins and is only looking around at the Irish as a security blanket, but insiders believe the interest is much more than just that.

3. What an interesting few days it’s been for Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon offensive tackle Branden Bowen. On Saturday, Bowen, the No. 5 player in Utah, committed to the Utes to give Kyle Whittingham a nice in-state recruiting victory. Then hours later on Sunday, he tweeted he had picked up an offer from Ohio State, a school he admitted he was hoping to receive an offer from earlier in the process. It will be interesting to see if the Utes can keep Bowen on board, or if the Buckeyes' offer is too tempting to pass up.

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Social Studies

Often players link their highlight videos on their social media accounts, but you almost never see them posting their grades or test scores. So give Alabama commit Christian Bell a whole lot of credit for posting his ACT score for everybody to see. It's the type of highlight that also should be cheered.

Early Offer: Tough times ahead for UF? 

September, 21, 2014
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Recruiting in the SEC is already difficult, but the difficulty in Gainesville is about to be ratcheted up even more as rival recruiters are already pressuring Florida recruits to reconsider. Plus, it was clear Saturday night that Oregon needs help on the offensive line, but the good news is that help is on the way.

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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

September, 9, 2014
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video Oregon made the most noise on the field and the recruiting trail this past weekend, posting a win against a top-10 team in front of a number of potential impact recruits in the 2015 and 2016 classes. Elsewhere in the conference, USC made a statement with a big win and UCLA did the same with a big offer.


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