SALT LAKE CITY — Recruiting is the lifeblood of any collegiate program, and it's no different for the University of Utah football program.
This year's recruiting class may look different than in year's past, though, as the coaching staff balances the scholarship limits put in place with incoming freshmen and that of the ever-expanding transfer portal where Utah has done well recently. Last year, the NCAA granted all athletes an extra year of eligibility and upped the scholarship limit to 105 — up from its normal 85 — for the 2021-22 season.
Utah may get close to the 105 full-time scholarships this year, but the football program will be required to get back down to 85 in subsequent seasons, which could get tricky. It's a tightrope balancing act to project the number of athletes that will leave the program and those they can bring in to stay under the NCAA requirement.
Below is a brief look at who has already committed to Utah, as well as some players to be on the lookout for in the coming months.
Check back often to see how the recruiting class takes shape.
Note: Although there are several recruiting services to pull from, KSL.com partners with 247Sports to identify a recruit's ranking (namely the 247Sports Composite, which factors in other services). As such, embedded profiles for each athlete are found below, with more info found on the recruiting service's website.
247Sports Avg. Recruit Rating: 0.8739
247Sports National Rank: 72nd
247Sports Pac-12 Rank: 10th
Nate Johnson, QB (Clovis HS — Clovis, CA)
Committed. Respect my Decision❗️❗️🔴⚪️🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/XA5lrXCj2b— Nate Johnson (@Shaboinate) June 18, 2021
Aisea Moa, DL (Weber HS — Ogden, UT)
Jaylon Glover, RB (Lake Gibson HS — Lakeland, FL)
Adarrius Harshaw, WR (Cherokee HS — Canton, GA)
Brandon Rose, QB (Murrieta Valley HS — Murrieta, CA)
Zion Steptoe, WR (Memorial HS — Frisco, TX)
Jeffrey Ugo, S (George Ranch HS — Richmond, TX)
Sione Tavo Motuapuaka, OT (Mililani HS — Mililani, HI)
After careful consideration with family and coaches I am very happy to announce that I am 100% committed to the University of Utah. Thank you to all my family and coaches who helped, believed and supported me through my journey. Go Utes! @CoachPowell99@Utah_Football@jimhardingpic.twitter.com/65K9cyAg7e— Sione Tavo Motuapuaka (@SioneTavo) August 30, 2021
Players to watch
While not all of the following athletes will be signed by Utah, many have taken an official or unofficial visit to Utah, or have at least a moderate interest in the program. This list will continue to expand and shrink as we get closer to signing day and as the athletes release more details about their future.
Lander Barton, LB (Brighton HS — Salt Lake City, UT)
Cody Hagen, WR (Corner Canyon HS — Draper, UT)
Harrison Taggart, LB (Corner Canyon HS — Draper, UT)
Carson Tabaracci, ATH (Park City HS — Park City, UT)
Jovantae Barnes, RB (Desert Pines HS — Las Vegas, NV)
Carmello Jones, DE (West Orange-Stark HS — Orange, TX)