College Football Recruiting: Utah Utes Reload Defense With Star’s Little Brother

Ron Chenoy – USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Utes have struggled to make the transition to the Pac 12 successfully on the football field in their first two seasons. Things don’t look like they’ll get easier next season as the Utes lose their stud defensive tackle Star Lotulelei to the NFL, as he’s projected to be a top five pick in April’s draft. Softening the blow of the loss of his interior presence, however, will be his little brother Lowell Lotulelei, another defensive tackle, as he has verbally committed to Utah over the weekend.

The four-star recruit ranked as the No. 2 recruit in the state of Utah and immediately becomes the prized recruit of the Utes’ 2013 recruiting class. He was right at the top of head coach Kyle Whittingham‘s recruiting board and marks the second four-star recruit to verbally commit to Utah for next season. The commitment of Lotulelei reverses a bit of bad fortune for Utah on the recruiting trail as they’ve watched three other top prospects from Utah leave the state, including two to Pac 12 rivals.

The 6-foot-2, 293-pound Lotulelei made a major impact in his senior season at Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah. He recorded 61 tackles with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. His strength makes him a sturdy presence in the middle of the defense and he has proven particularly effective against the run. He will make a fine replacement for his big brother, who filled the same role with the Utes during his time in Salt Lake City.

While it was always suspected the younger Lotulelei would choose to follow in his big brother’s footsteps, the commitment of the stud defensive tackle will still come as a relief to the Utes’ coaching staff. On a weekend where 15 other recruits made their official visits, Lotulelei’s commitment is a huge boost for the Utah program.

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