Wednesday Feb. 1 marks National Letter of Intent Day, and the University of Utah football team will be adding some new faces to its roster — some expected and maybe some surprises.
This list will be updated throughout the day as more players commit to the U, and there will be final story posted by the end of the night.
Jordan Agasiva, Offensive Lineman, Pima Community College
Utah tends to look to junior college for some raw talent, as it did when it signed Garrett Boles last season, and Agasiva looks to follow in Boles footsteps at the same position. The 6-foot-4-inch, 345 lb offensive lineman will look to make an immediate impact with some players leaving the program.
Corrion Ballard, Safety, Blinn College
Another JuCo transfer, the Utah Utes are receiving Ballard from Blinn College, and he’ll look to fill in the shoes of Dominque Hatfield. The 6-foot-3-inch junior from Texas was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in conference play this past season as he recorded 41 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions.
Tyquez Hampton, Wide Reciever, El Dorado High School
Although Hampton is coming out of high school, he could receive the same amount of expectations as some of his fellow signees as he’ll be competing for the starting wide receiver job. Last season, Tim Patrick was the “go-to guy” as head coach Kyle Whittingham often mentioned, so whether or not this 6-foot-2-inch freshman can fit the bill is yet to be determined.
Michael Richardson, Offensive Tackle, American Fork High School
Richardson comes to Utah after helping the Cavemen reach the Utah 5A state semi-finals in 2016. The 235 lb incoming freshman has been named to the USA Today All-USA Utah Football Team twice. He’ll look to add some more depth that depleted offensive front-seven.
Jaylen Dixon, Wide Receiver, Lone Star High School
Dixon does not have an imposing size at 5-foo-9-inch, 156 lb, but in his senior year of high school he recorded 15 receiving touchdowns, and he had a total of 1,239 yards. For those efforts he was named the All Purpose MVP in 13 5A in Texas as his team finished second.
Orlando Umana, Offensive Guard, Grant High School
The Utes continue to add more firepower to its offensive line with Umana entering the fold. Umana finished his final year of high school football with 49 tackles, and he was named to the Sacramento Bee All Metro first team a couple of times.
Jason Shelley, Quarterback, Lone Star High School
Shelley joins high school teammate Dixon in joining the Utes this upcoming fall. He’ll be another addition to the Utes’ arsenal of quarterbacks as things don’t seem to be as set in stone for 2016 starter Troy Williams. Shelley is listed as the No. 12 dual threat quarterback by 24/7 Sports, and he was listed at No. 27 by ESPN. He threw for 24 touchdowns in his senior year as opposed to just four interceptions for a total of 2.975 yards. On 180 rushes he had 20 touchdowns.
Josh Penisini, Defensive Tackle, Snow College
Although Penisini did not play football in 2016, he put up favorable numbers the year prior. At Snow he had 40 tackles as a freshman, and 6.5 of those tackles were tackles-for-loss. He was named an honorable mention in the All-Western States Football League in 2015.
Bryan Thompson, Wide Receiver, Rancho Verde High School
Utah signed Thompson, another wide receiver, to its roster as this 6-foot-2-inch freshman will be fighting for the top spot. During his senior year he registered 77 catches for 1,377 yards, and 14 of those receptions were touchdowns. He helped his team advance to the 2016 CIF Football semifinals and it had a 6-0 Inland Valley league record.
TJ Green, Running Back, Chandler High School
Green joins the Utah team as running back, finishing his senior year of high school rushing for a high of 2,267 yards, and he scored 35 touchdowns on 247 carries. He also had 278 receiving yards with four touchdowns on 14 receptions and he led his high school team to the 6A state title in 2016.
Javelin Guidry, Defensive Back, Vista Murrieta High School
Playing at three different high schools, Guidry comes to Utah finishing his senior year at Vista Murrieta High School as a defensive back with 38 tackles and six interceptions. He also played some time as running back for the Broncos, and he finished his senior year as a first-team All-Southwestern League.
Taniela Pututau, Defensive Line, Cottonwood High School
Following in his two brothers’ footsteps, Pututau signed with Utah after serving his LDS mission before enrolling in college. As a junior, he was first-team all-region 3 in 2015 after making 24 tackles and recovering three fumbles. He missed his senior season due to an injury.
Devin Lloyd, Linebacker, Otay Ranch High School
Utah picked up Lloyd for linebacker — a new role for him. Playing at the safety, receiver and punter positions in high school, he was named to the second-team All-CIF San Diego Section defense as well as to the Metro-Mesa League offense in 2016. His senior season, Lloyd made 52 tackles, three defensive touchdowns, eight interceptions, and he broke up three passes. He also had 29 receptions for six touchdowns and 493 yards.
Mo Unutoa, Offensive Tackle, Kapaa High School
From Hawaii to Utah, Unutoa joins the Utah program after playing in the Polynesian Bowl earlier this year. In 2016, he was named to the first-team All-Hawaii Division II for the second time, and he was named to the first-team All-Maui Interscholastic League. Unutoa also became the first player from his high school to be awarded first-team all-state honors.
Aliki Vimahi, Defensive Lineman, Kahuku High School
Another recruit from Hawaii, Vimahi comes to the U after being named to the Honolulu Advertiser Hawaii All-State Football Team in addition to the first-team USA Today All-USA Hawaii Football team. He recorded 20.5 tackles and six interceptions his senior year of high school.
Tareke Lewis, Defensive Back, Riverside Community College
Lewis joins the Utes as another JuCo transfer after a season where he finished with 16 tackles, two picks, and seven pass breakups. For those efforts he was named to the first-team All-SCFA National Division Central League.
Nick Ford, Defensive Linemen, San Pedro High School
Ford looks to add more depth to the defensive line for the Utes. He was selected as the Marine League Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 when he recorded 56 tackles — that includes 24 tackles-for-loss and 10 sacks.
Marquise Blair, Defensive Back, Dodge City Community College
In his 2016 season, Blair was named to the NJCAA All-American first-team after he recorded 100 tackles, 24 of which were tackles-for-loss and three were sacks. He also managed to come away with four interceptions.
Jaylon Johnson, Defensive Back, Central High School
Johnson was touted as the No. 6 cornerback in the 2017 class according to Rivals.com, and Rivals and Scout gave him a four star rating. This past year, he was named to the USA Today All-USA California Football first-team.