WESTMINSTER, Calif. — Winning big bowl games can help with any program's recruiting ability, and winning bowl games definitely helped the University of Utah with its latest commit.

Myron Aiava knew relatively little about Utah's program other than its recent BCS success when Ute coaches first contacted him around three months ago.

"Seeing how they play and how well (Utah) played in those (bowl) games — that's the type of program I want to play for," said Aiava. "I love how Utah plays defense and how they coach their players. It's definitely the type of defense I want to be a part of."

Aiava is a 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive end prospect who largely flew under the radar up until his Utah commit. He had received a lot of interest from Washington, San Jose State and Nevada.

Aiava committed to Utah after attending the program's elite camp on Monday. While pure football reasons played a huge role in his decision, Utah's family atmosphere is what ultimately won him over.

"That's the best thing about Utah, in my mind — it's just a real close family here, and it's probably the main reason why I chose to commit," said Aiava. "I love the Utah coaches and how they respect you as a person."

Coach Kyle Whittingham pitched a lot of things to Aiava during the recruiting process, but the focus was always on education and personal growth.

"That's the most important thing to me, and I love how coach's focus is on that because it lets me know that it's more than just football at Utah — it's a lot more," said Aiava.

Aiava is anxious to start competing for a spot and playing in the Pac-12 against southern California teams UCLA and USC.

"Playing in the Pac-12 has always been a dream of mine, and it will be fun playing against the teams I grew up watching," said Aiava. "I'm very confident in my decision to commit to Utah and can't wait to get here."

Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BrandonCGurney