- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
Harrison Handley (Sandy, Utah/Alta) has known since the middle of last summer that he would end up at Utah next season, but that didn't stop the 6-foot-5, 200-pound tight end from enjoying every bit of his official visit this past weekend.
Handley said he didn't gain much surface-level knowledge of the school via the campus tour, considering he'd been there a number of times before. But what stood out the most to him was how deeply he was able to dive into the personal connections there.
"I got to know more of the coaches and see how their personalities make the program what it is," Handley said. "I got to build relationships with them, as well as meet some of the professors in the business school. That was a really cool experience."
In addition to those relationships, Handley said he had a great time with his fellow official visitors. He said there were approximately 14 recruits on visits and, as of Friday morning, he had no idea who any of them were.
"We all became really good friends during the trip," Handley said. "Some of them committed, and I think that had a lot to do with the relationships we built with them there and how everyone got along. It was a really good experience to meet some of the guys I'll be playing with."
One of those recruits is defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei (South Jordan, Utah/Bingham), who committed during the trip. Handley held his one-on-one meeting with head coach Kyle Whittingham directly after Lotulelei, which meant the future Utah tight end was the first recruit to congratulate Lotulelei on his commitment.
"I gave him a big hug," he said.
Overall, the trip made Handley realize that he made the right decision all the way back in July.
"It's such a good vibe there," Handley said. "I can't even wait to get back up there. It makes me want to get up there even more because I love it there. I have such a good relationship there and the coaches are such good guys."