Utah continues our 12-part series where we are ranking the best recruits to sign with each Pac-12 school since the advent of serious recruiting coverage on the Internet (2002 serving as the furthest year back that you can find rankings for players online). Our rankings are put together by combining players' rankings from recruiting sites, offers and the amount of hype that surrounded their singings.
Please note that these are taking only into account how highly-rated players were coming out of high school, not their college careers. So please, no angry, insult-laden comments about how only a child murderer wouldn't realize that LaMichael James (Or any player who had a great college career, but was an under-the-radar recruit) should be number three on the list.
1. Harvey Langi Class of 2011 RB South Jordan, UT - Bingham
Langi was a powerful back that was one of the top running backs to ever come out of Utah fueled by his size, strength and balance. Langi became an epic score for the Utes when he chose Utah over a number of powerhouse West Coast schools including UCLA and USC. Langi had limited action in his freshman season and left to take his LDS mission prior to last season.
2. Hiva Lutui Class of 2012 C Euless, TX - Trinity
Lutui was a slightly undersized, but very aggressive center that was one of the best prospects at his position in the entire country in the Class of 2012. Lutui committed to UCLA early, but the Utes were able to come in late and pull him out of Texas and away from Texas A&M, UCLA and USC. Lutui redshirted in 2012 and is expected to be the backup center in 2013.
3. Jeremiah Poutasi Class of 2012 T Las Vegas, NV - Desert Pines
Massive at 6'6 330, and mobile, Poutasi was the ideal modern tackle coming out of high school and rated a four-star prospect by Scout. A big victory for the Utes to solidify themselves in Pac-12 recruiting, Poutasi chose the Utes over Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Washington. Poutasi started for the Utes as a freshman and made honorable mention All-Pac-12.
4. Sausan Shakerin Class of 2008 RB Sandy, UT - Alta
Before there was Langi, there was Shakerin, who was huge, but also had the kind of explosive athleticism to be one of the top-rated running backs in the country. Shakerin turned down a number of elite programs, including LSU and Stanford to sign with Utah. Shakerin had a promising start to his career, but concussions in his sophomore season ended his career.
5. Anthony Denham Class of 2011 WR Monterey Park, CA - East Los Angeles College
At 6'6 215 with a 4.5 40 time, Denham was a physical freak that was one of the top junior college prospects in the Class of 2011 and he had the offers to prove it. Denham had reported offers from schools like Georgia, LSU and Oregon and ended up choosing the Utes over Mississippi and UCF. Denham saw limited action in 2012.
6. Aiona Key Class of 2008 WR Walnut, CA San Antonio College
Key was another big and fast junior college receiver with huge stats and good offers that was rated as a five-star prospect by Scout. Key had a limited impact at Utah.
7. Latu Heimuli Class of 2009 DT Salt Lake City, UT - Highland
A big, powerful and traditional defensive tackle, Heimuli was one of the best lineman prospect out West in his class and had serious offers. Heimuli visited Colorado, Nebraska and Washington State before signing with the Utes. Heimuli has battled injuries and has yet to make a major impact at Utah.
8. Kelvin York Class of 2012 RB Fullerton, CA - Fullerton College
Maybe the top junior college running back in his class, York had huge size and great stats coming out of Fullerton. York committed to USC but decommited late in the game and the Utes beat out Mississippi and Washington for his signature. York made a limited impact in 2012, but is expected to compete for the starting job in 2013.
9. Marquis Wilson Class of 2005 WR Draper, UT - Juan Diego
Rated as a four-star prospect by Scout, Wilson ran a 4.4 40 and was one of the top-rated receivers in the Class of 2005. Wilson visited Arizona and Nebraska before choosing Utah. Wilson ended up having three solid seasons at Utah.
10. Walter Watts Class of 2006 T Los Banos, CA
Another four-star rated recruit by Scout, Watts had a great motor and enough quickness to get attention from schools all around the nation. Watts broke it down to Arizona and Colorado before choosing the Utes. Watts ended up being a solid back-up.
James Aino Class of 2009 DE Ephrain, UT - Snow College
Dexter Ransom Class of 2010 WR Brenham, TX - Blinn College
Paul Soliali Class of 2004 G Coffeyville, KS - Coffeyville College
John White Class of 2010 RB Torrance, CA - Harbor College
Travis Wilson Class of 2012 QB San Clemente, CA