The Utah Utes probably had one of the quietest Pac-12 recruiting classes in the 2013 cycle. They didn't land any great high school blue-chippers that any of us were talking about, but went quiet and took as many players as they could that generally weren't considered all that heralded coming out of college.
Sean Reynolds of Block U took some time to answer some questions on the subject.
1. How well do you think Utah filled positions of need in this class? Are there any places they came up short?
I think Utah did fairly well bringing in depth, especially along the lines. This was not a glitzy class by any stretch of the imagination, but they certainly addressed much of their weaknesses overall. So, even though this class kind of slid under the radar, I think, specifically on depth and speed, the class touched on a great deal of their needs - specifically on the defensive line. Moreover, they also loaded up on quarterbacks, bringing in two who look very capable of contending for playing time in the fall. I don't think either Brandon Cox or Conner Manning will, but it's nice to have options.
2. Who would you say is the biggest impact Utah recruit in this class?
Andre Lewis, a wide-receiver out of Diablo Valley Community College. He was Utah's lone four-star player and I think he'll live up to that ranking. The fact he's already experienced at the college level means the program can probably plug him in this season and get some solid results.
3. If you were to rank the position of the Utes in the Pac-12 recruiting hierarchy, it would be ______ because ______.
I think, on the whole, Utah is probably right in the middle of the Pac-12. Even though they struggled last season, they were in most their defeats, unlike Cal, Colorado and Washington State, who all witnessed a handful of blowout conference losses. But another season like last might just cement their standing at the bottom of the conference and, well, no one wants that. But I do believe the team is a lot closer to being a good Pac-12 program than they are to being a consistent cellar-dweller. It's just going to take more experience and depth to get to that point. Hopefully, when this season is over, Utah is putting together a fairly respectable conference season.
4. The player I think will make the most immediate impact for the Utes ____________ because ________.
From this recruiting class? Like I said, Andre Lewis. Overall? I still have hopes Travis Wilson, the quarterback who came in midway through last season, will have an immediate impact on the team. He struggled a bit as a true freshman and I'm hopeful, or maybe just hoping, that more experience will lead to better results.
5. Who are the under the radar recruits to watch for in this class for Utah who could be on the field sooner rather than later?
That's a tough one. But I'd go with Brandon Cox. I mentioned him before and I believe, even though he'll be a freshman, we'll see some packages tailored to his athleticism. I don't think he'll become Utah's starting quarterback, but I do believe he'll see the field this season and could prove a solid second or third option for this offense - especially if they continue implementing the spread.