SALT LAKE CITY — When it comes to sheer numbers and talent level, defensive linemen, running backs and quarterbacks are expected to headline Utah football’s 2013 signing class.
The Utes have secured commitments to bolster each position.
“Those are probably the three areas we helped ourselves the most in,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, who added that it appears to be a very good group of recruits across the board.
“There’s never any guarantees,” he noted. “But I think we have certainly helped ourselves.”
Although Whittingham was unable to discuss specifics until signed national letters of intent are actually received, the Utes anticipate signatures from several high-profile recruits on Wednesday.
The list includes mid-year signees — offensive lineman Andrew Albers (6-7, 310, Orange Coast Community College, Calif.); quarterback Brandon Cox (6-2, 185, Pasadena High School, Calif.); wide receiver Andre Lewis (6-4, 220, Diablo Valley Community College, Calif.); linebacker Uaea Masina (6-4, 200, Brighton High School); defensive back Davion Orphey (6-1, 185, Santa Ana Community College, Calif.); and tight end Gregory Reese (6-6, 246, Arizona Western Community College).
Utah’s 2013 class will also include linebacker Tevita Bloomfield (6-1, 230, Hunter High School), who originally signed in 2011. Scholarships awarded to quarterback Adam Schulz and defensive back Tyler White also count toward this year’s 25 signees.
The remaining 16 initial spots will be filled by players who opt not to grayshirt or push forward their eligibility. The pool of recruiting commitments (as compiled by www.utezone.com) includes:
- DEFENSIVE ENDS: Myron Aiava (6-5, 270, Westminster High School, Calif.); Sam Tevi (6-5, 255, Euless Trinity High School, Texas); Gaius Vaenuku (6-6, 260, Euless Trinity High School, Texas).
- DEFENSIVE TACKLES: Sese Ianu (6-3, 300, Golden West Community College, Calif.); Lowell Lotulelei (6-2, 290, Bingham High School).
- RUNNING BACKS: Devontae Booker (5-11, 195, American River Community College, Calif.); Troy McCormick (5-9, 175, Mayde Creek High School, Texas); Marcus Williams (5-11, 204, Durango High School, Nev.); Dre’Vian Young (5-10, 180, Nimitz High School, Texas).
- QUARTERBACK: Conner Manning (6-2, 195, El Toro High School, Calif.)
- DEFENSIVE BACKS: Tevin Carter (6-2, 220, Los Angeles Southwest College); Hipolito Corporan (6-1, 190, Westside High School, Texas); Marcellus Pippins (5-10, 175, El Cerrito High School, Calif.)
- OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Chase Dominguez (6-5, 195, Lutheran High School, Calif.); Lo Falemaka (6-4, 230, Cottonwood High School); LeRoy Tanoai (6-4, 280, Notre Dame High School, Calif.); Salesi Uhatafe (6-5, 295, Euless Trinity High School, Texas).
- LINEBACKER: Filipo Mokofisi (6-3, 210, Woods Cross High School).
- WIDE RECEIVERS: Harrison Handley (6-6, 200, Alta High School); X’avier Shepherd (6-0, 175, Lakewood High School, Calif.)
- ATHLETES: Dominique Hatfield (5-11, 170, Crenshaw High School, Calif.); Clarence Smith (6-3, 215, Youngker High School, Ariz.).
On the other side of the things, the Utes are still in play for some good surprises.
“There always is a handful of guys who wait a little longer to decide. We’ll see what happens with that,” Whittingham said. “It’s a situation where you just wait until the bitter end and find out what decision they make.”