Many feel this year's in-state football recruiting class could be Utah's best ever

Published: Tuesday, June 17 2014 12:00 p.m. MDT

Porter Gustin, LB, Salem Hills HS: Perhaps no in-state recruit has seen his stock rise as rapidly as Gustin’s has over the last few months. A relatively unknown a year ago at this time, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Salem Hills standout has piled up the offers and will have the luxury of deciding between some of the top collegiate programs nationally. Gustin is ranked as the No. 61 prospect nationally by Scout.com and No. 113 by Rivals.com.

Both Utah and Utah State are still in the hunt, but will have to contend with the likes of USC, Florida State, Ohio State and other national powerhouses to secure his services.

Andre James, OL, Herriman HS: James was the leader of Herriman’s dominant offensive line last season and many programs have taken note. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound prospect currently holds offers from a bevy of Pac-12 and Big 12 schools, including USC, Oregon and Oklahoma. He’s rated as a four-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout.

He is undecided, but has narrowed his favorites to six (Utah, USC, Oregon, UCLA, Ohio State and Oklahoma.)

Christian Folau, LB, East HS: Folau committed to Stanford last July, but is still being pursued by several national and in-state schools hoping to sway Utah’s best inside linebacker prospect. A steady stream of coaches from top programs have visited the 6-foot-1, 240-pound prospect recently despite his Cardinal commitment.

Mufi Hunt, DE, Taylorsville HS: Hunt currently holds 11 offers, according to Scout.com, including BYU, Utah, Utah State, Oregon and Oklahoma. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Bengal could play at end in a 4-3 system and potentially at weak side linebacker in a 3-4 alignment.

He is uncommitted and has stated a lot of interest in both BYU and Utah.

Dayan Lake, DB, Northridge HS: Lake committed to BYU last summer and has not been swayed despite rising interest from many top national programs, including Alabama and Oregon. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound prospect is rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com and will give the Cougars a rare prime cornerback prospect out of high school should he stay true to his commitment.

Branden Bowen, OL, Corner Canyon HS: Corner Canyon hasn’t been around for long, but it’s already pumping out its first big-time prospect in Bowen. The behemoth 6-foot-7, 310-pound prospect has seen rising interest from multiple Pac-12 and Big 12 programs, several of which have provided offers, along with in-state programs such as Utah and BYU.

Bowen is uncommitted, but has a lot of interest in Utah.

Austin Kafentzis, QB, Jordan HS: Kafentzis committed last summer to Wisconsin, thereby short-circuiting many potential offers that undoubtedly would have come for the record-breaking quarterback. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound prospect is a superb athlete who could play any number of positions at the next level.

James Empey, OL, American Fork HS: The son of former BYU player and coach Mike Empey, James is a three-star prospect and holds offers from Utah, Utah State, Boise State and Washington, according to Rivals.com. Other top programs have shown recent interest and the 6-foot-4, 270-pound athlete's offer list should expand by the end of the summer camp period.

Utah appears to be the early favorite for his services, according to reports.

Gabe Reid, DE, Timpview HS: Reid is a versatile athlete who could play at either linebacker or defensive end at the next level. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound athlete is the son of former BYU linebacker Spencer Reid and holds as many as seven offers currently. BYU, Utah and Utah State have all offered, along with Stanford, Arizona State, Oregon State and Washington State.

Quinn Fabrizio, DB, Alta HS: Fabrizio’s offers include Utah, Utah State, Washington, Washington State and Wisconsin. BYU has shown a lot of interest and could be poised to offer the 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect shortly. Most of Frabrizio’s offers have been fairly recent and he has yet to tip his hand on which program he’s leaning toward.

Kody Wilstead, QB, Pine View HS: Wilstead has garnered some strong interest lately and currently holds offers from BYU, San Diego State and Louisville, with many other programs showing interest. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound quarterback is surprisingly mobile for his size and that could make him a good fit in BYU’s system. The Cougars are the early favorite for his services.

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney