With two seasons just about completed in the Pac-12, the Utah Utes have made the transition to major conference play as smoothly as a newly waxed floor. While their newbie conference counterparts the Colorado Buffaloes have resembled a glorified high school team, the Utes have landed in the middle of the Pac-12 pack.
The best barometer for the Utes success isn’t so much on the field of play, but in the recruiting arena that defines program success before a season kicks off. Yesterday, two running backs given three stars each, have verbally committed their future to Utah. Dre’Vian Young and Devontae Booker plan to suit up in Salt Lake City.
Just this week as families and friends gather around to give thanks for all the possessions that really matter, Utah should salute their new-found situation in one of the countries premier conferences. While many other leagues are losing and gaining members with no regard for tradition, geography, or program success, Utah found a ship that wasn’t sinking.
As of right now Utah is the 5th best recruiting class in the Pac-12 as rated by Rivals. Both Booker and Young provide even more depth to a 2013 class that is now 25 strong. While the Utes may not have the five or four star blue chips that jump off the page, coach Kyle Whittingham is bringing in a plethora of three star talent.
Utah is team that could use some help in the run game. Current senior John White is a stud, but as a team, the Utes are ninth in the Pac-12 for yards a game. Gaining all around talents like Young and Booker will provide competition and plenty of options for Whittingham’s staff.
Alongside the two new commits, other Utah verbals Andrew Ballin, Salesi Eteaki, and Marcus Williams round out one of the deepest position units in 2013. If it is a bowl appearance and a Pac-12 South Division title the Utes are after, they could very well be on their way.
Among the 2013 commits is quarterback Conner Manning who has the talent to give the Utes a top level signal-caller. I have already opined on Manning’s potential.
Many of Utah’s former mid-major peers are living in an uncertain world not knowing if their current conference will survive. In Utah, the future is stable.
Currently, the 2012 season has been a disappointment, but there is plenty of reason for Ute Nation to remain optimistic.
Not a bad thought before that first bite of turkey.