Todd Jackson, a two-time all-state lineman from Springville High School, and Jason Emerick, a lineman from Ramona High in San Diego, told the Deseret News Wednesday that they will sign national letters of intent next week to play football for the University of Utah.

The Deseret News also has learned that Sam Manu, a linebacker from Riverside Community College (Calif.), already has enrolled at Utah and will play for the Utes next season.With national letter of intent day still six days away, the Utes have received verbal commitments from 23 high school and junior college athletes; 11 of them are offensive linemen (although some of them will be moved to defense).

Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound guard, was a three-year starter for Springville. He also was recruited by BYU, Washington, Utah State, San Diego State and Hawaii.

"I like coach (Ron) McBride," said Jackson, explaining his decision. "And I feel like their program is on the way up."

Emerick, a 6-4, 275-pound guard and tackle, was a two-year starter at Ramona High. He was recruited by Arizona State, Pacific and Cal-Berkeley.

"I liked coach McBride and coach (Tim) Davis," said Emerick. "They're very personable, and they're interested in you as a student-athlete."

"He has good speed and good footwork," said Emerick's coach, Mel Galli, a former Logan High coach.

Manu, 6-3, 235 pounds, earned all-conference honors at Riverside last fall. He is the second linebacker from the California JC ranks to commit to Utah (the other is Shawn Miller of El Camino).

"If they've got both of those players, then they've really got a good set of linebackers," said El Camino coach John Featherstone.

- Doug Robinson