We’re excited about the class we put together. There’s no doubt about it. —Utah coach Kyle Whittingham
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah may have made quite a connection in its 2018 recruiting class. After securing highly touted quarterback Jack Tuttle in the early signing period, the Utes added a prized receiver in Solomon Enis on Wednesday.
The duo, predicts Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, have the raw material to be “future stars.”
Tuttle and Enis are part of a recruiting haul that has Whittingham and his staff pleased.
“We’re excited about the class we put together,” Whittingham said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
The Utes, he continued, had two main areas of emphasis this year — defensive line and tight end. Whittingham noted that they came up with good players and praised his assistants for their hard work.
All said, Utah’s recruiting class includes 18 freshmen and four junior college transfers. The signees, who come from nine states and Australia, include six defensive linemen, four defensive backs, three tight ends and a trio of receivers, two offensive linemen, a pair of linebackers, plus one quarterback and a running back.
“We feel like we addressed all our needs,” Whittingham said.
At least three committed players and perhaps 4-5 overall may serve LDS Church missions before enrolling in school. The potential readiness of some returning missionaries could also impact final numbers, meaning Utah may have one or two scholarships still available.
This year’s scholarship numbers include a pair of former walk-ons: kicker Matt Gay and center Paul Toala. Same goes for returned missionaries defensive back Quinn Fabrizio, tight end Cole Fotheringham and wide receiver/safety R.J. Hubert, who originally signed in previous years.
The latest crop of signees includes running back Devin Brumfield (5-10, 255, Covington HS, Louisiana); defensive lineman Jackson Cravens (6-3, 308, Timpview HS); Fabrizio (6-4, 206, Alta HS); Enis, (6-3, 193, North Canyon HS, Arizona); Fotheringham (6-4, 235, San Clemente HS, California); defensive lineman Tevita Fotu (6-5, 275, Herriman HS); Hubert (6-0, 180, Moapa Valley HS, Nevada); tight end Brant Kuithe (6-2, 218, Cinco Ranch HS, Texas); defensive lineman Blake Kuithe (6-3, 235, Cinco Ranch HS, Texas); offensivce lineman Jaren Kump (6-6, 261, Herriman HS); defensive back Tareke Lewis (6-0, 170, Riverside CC, California); offensive lineman Hunter Lotulelei (6-3, 328, Highland HS); defensive lineman Paul Maile (6-2, 269, East HS); linebacker Andrew Mata’afa (6-3, 206, Mt. Carmel HS, California); defensive lineman Simi Moala (6-7, 255, Cathedral HS, California); and tight end Thomas Yassmin (6-5, 242, The Scots College, Australia).
Whittingham said Yassmin is an outstanding rugby player with great measurables who runs like a deer. He may be a project because of his raw football skills. However, Whittingham noted he could develop into a defensive end.
Of the recruits with more polished games to sign on Wednesday, Whittingham expects Enis to come in and make an impact. The recruiting process went right down to the wire, he continued, and the Utes are elated to have him in the program along with Tuttle and others.
“We feel like we’re winning our share of the battles right now,” Whittingham said of recruiting against other Power 5 programs. “For the most part, we can stand toe-to-toe with a lot of people and come out getting a lot of these guys.”
Utah’s early signees include Tuttle (6-3, 200, Mission Hills HS, California), offensive lineman Braeden Daniels (6-4, 284, Hebron HS, Texas), linebacker Bryant Pirtle (6-2, 227, Pima CC, Arizona), defensive lineman Jeremiah Jordan (6-4, 233, Mt. San Jacinto College, California). Wide receiver Terrell Perriman (5-11, 182, Miami Central HS, Florida), defensive back Malone Mataele (5-10, 177, Santa Margarita Catholic HS, California) and defensive back Vonte Davis (6-1, 168, Blinn College, Texas).