SALT LAKE CITY — The future is bright for the University of Utah at the quarterback position for the next few seasons.
Jack Tuttle, the heralded four-star Elite 11 quarterback from San Marcos, California, finally signed with Utah Wednesday, ending his recruiting process and giving the Utes arguably their best quarterback prospect in school history. The incoming quarterback spurned offers from several big programs like Alabama and USC and stayed true to his Dec. 16, 2016, commitment to Utah.
Tuttle was named the San Diego Section Player of the Year as a senior at Mission Hills High School as he led his team to a championship appearance. He threw for 3,171 yards and 41 touchdowns on 205-of-295 passes his senior season. In June, ESPN.com’s Kyle Bonagura said Tuttle “stood out” at the Elite 11 and “was smooth in everything he did, delivered accurate balls with tight spirals and was easily one of the five best performers of the day.”
Tuttle highlights Utah’s incoming recruiting class that got a jumpstart on Wednesday when the program signed six players to its 2018 roster. The NCAA recently opened up an early signing period to allow future prospects an opportunity to sign before the national letter of intent day in February.
On Tuesday, head coach Kyle Whittingham said he intended to have approximately a third of his incoming class sign Wednesday, with the bulk choosing to sign on the tradition signing day in February. Whittingham added that the program has approximately 20 scholarships available for the 2018 recruiting class, leaving about 14 spots left.
Utah got a good mix of players from several positions in need, with the six players split between offense and defense. Whittingham said Tuesday the increased offensive success this season behind offensive coordinator Troy Taylor has been a boon for recruiting as prospects have taken note of the change.
Most notably, Utah continued its Florida pipeline with three-star wide receiver Terrell Perriman committing to the program. The 5-foot-10 slot receiver ranked third in Miami-Dade County last season with 671 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 19.2 yards per catch. Perriman turned down offers from Georgia, LSU and Miami to commit to Utah and is an explosive player after the catch.
Utah got some help on the offensive line with the signing of Braeden Daniels out of Carrollton, Texas. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound lineman was originally committed to Illinois but flipped his commitment to Utah earlier in the week. Daniels is a skilled lineman that should add some size to an offensive line still in rebuild.
On the defensive side of the ball, Utah added a player to each position group, including linebacker Bryant Pirtle, defensive back Malone Mataele and defensive end Jeremiah Jordan. Pirtle is arguably the biggest name taken on the defensive side of the ball for Utah, joining a position group in desperate need of help. Pirtle named Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah as his top three school, ultimately choosing Utah last minute.
Mataele is a versatile back that can play on both sides of the ball. Utah has recruited Mataele as a safety, but his skill set could lead to a position change once he comes on campus. Should he stay at safety, Mataele will add some great depth to the secondary that has already taken tremendous strides in overall talent. Jordan, a three-star pass rusher, will give Utah much-needed depth at a position that struggled to get to the quarterback all season.
Utah did not sign a local recruit in this early signing portion, but several local prospects are expected to sign in February, including offensive linemen Hunter Lotulelei and Jaren Kump, and tight end Tevita Fotu, among others.