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Matt Gade, KSL

Utah football strengthens offensive line, adds 12 total recruits on early signing day

By Josh Furlong, KSL.com | Posted - Dec 19th, 2018 @ 3:48pm



SALT LAKE CITY — Another early signing period for college football has passed and Utah added 12 players to its roster on the first day recruits could sign their letter of intent.

Utah primarily focused on building up the trenches, adding more size to both the offensive and defensive line. The offensive line was bolstered by five incoming recruits, making up a majority of the incoming class, while the defense added to their line with three-star defensive end Semisi Lauaki.

Lauaki was one of three athletes who originally signed in 2016 but decided to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before officially signing with Utah. The other two were three-star defensive lineman Keaton Bills and offensive lineman Johnny Maea.

"We feel good about the quality and number of players we signed today,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “We’ll complete our 2019 recruiting class between now and the traditional signing period in February, but this is a solid start. The offensive and defensive lines are usually a priority for us and this year was no exception. We were also able to fill needs at several other positions."

In total, Utah signed six players on offense and five on defense. Utah also added to its special teams with another Australian punter, who has four years of eligibility and will be expected to be the starting punter next season.

Whittingham said Utah signed about 70 percent of their 2019 recruiting class Wednesday and are expecting to sign six or seven more players in February. He added that they have several guys that have already committed to the program but are waiting till February for various reasons.

Whittingham said the program’s focus moving forward through February is picking up at least one quarterback, a wide receiver and running back. They’ll also look to add one more offensive lineman. Because the defense has a lot of returning players, Whittingham said they’ll look to add one or two linebackers and at least one safety and cornerback, or a player that could play in either position.

A full list of Utah’s recruits can be found on Utah’s Recruiting Central page.

Josh Furlong

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