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Recruitin': BYU and Utah

BYU has been the top of the 2010 recruiting class in the Mountain West and ranked thirteenth the NCAA according to Scout. In the past week in a half BYU has verbal commits from four new players; which brings their total to nineteen.

Manu Mulitalo is a local recruit from West Valley, UT and is a three star offensive lineman. One interesting story about Mulitalo is that he still doesn't know all the schools that offered, but does know of at least three: Navy, Washington State and, of course, BYU. Apparently his Dad was keeping that info from him.

However if you check Rivals, his list included USC, UCLA, Washington, Washington State, UNLV, and Utah.

Here is what ESPN Recruiting has to say about Mulitalo:

"Mulitalo presently plays offensive tackle but lacks the height for the position that we like to see at the major level of competition. A move to guard better suits his physical and athletic abilities.

Flashes good explosion and playing strength but must become a more consistent every down player. His lower body flexibility, foot quickness and balance look good; displays explosion and initial quickness coming out of his stance."

Bryan Sampson, tight end from Pleasant Grove high school and is looking to follow in the great line of BYU tight ends. Sampson is a three star from Rivals.

Sampson is more of a pass catching, tight end:

"He will need to get into a college weight program and add serious bulk to his frame. He presents a solid receiving target.

He can catch the ball into his frame at times, but displays the ability to extend his arms and catch the ball with his hands. He displays adequate speed and runs solid routes."

His 2008 numbers were not great with 14 receptions for 186 yards and two touchdown. Sampson who is 6-5 and 210 pounds, which is not quite big enough to play tight end at the division one level. Expect Sampson to redshirt a year to bulk up his weight.

There is not much on Hau'oli Jamora who is a defensive end committed to BYU. He is from Hawai'i and his measurements come in at 6-2 and 230 pounds.

More info will come out once he is evaluated by Rivals, Scout, ESPN Recruiting, and others, and the only over school to be on his radar is the University of Hawai'i.

The newest verbal commit is Jordan Johnson who is listed as an athlete, but will most likely play defensive back. Johnson has yet to be fully evaluated, but has speed with a reported 40 time of 4.5.

If that is accurate he will bring much needed speed to the BYU defense, and especially the secondary which has been suspect the past few years.

Their is an odd twist to how Johnson came to verbally commit to BYU. Johnson is from Massachusetts and was first introduced to BYU from current Boston Celtic general manager Danny Ainge who also was a former hoops standout at BYU.

Johnson made his decision after attending BYU's camp last week, and verbally committed shortly after. A side note that may or may not mean anything is that Johnson is nor a member of the LDS church.

Now of to the Utah 2010 verbal class who have two commits over the past week and a half. The first is dual threat quarterback, Brian Blechen.

Blechen seems to be a good fit to eventually run the Utah spread offense. He all ready has good size at 6-3 and 205 pounds, and a quite speedy 4.6 forty time. Again he has yet to be fully evaluated by Rivals, but ESPN Recruiting has a nice review of him:

"Blechen has great size, plenty or frame development left and he is a really good athlete. Good enough to be a factor with his legs even though we would not term him a dual-threat--more of a passer that possesses another dimension.

He reminds us of former Utah QB Alex Smith with the same type of late-bloomer upside. He has a tough, gritty, gunslinging demeanor in his style of play."

Not bad being compared to Alex Smith, but here is some more evaluation:

"As a thrower, Blechen can be a bit green, but he has a smooth delivery and more than sufficient arm strength. Has shown flashes of being able to make any throw on the field with zip and power when he is consistent with his footwork and not throwing off balance."

The current thing against Blechen is that last year he missed six games with a hand injury, and has flown under the radar because of that.

The last recruit to be featured is Joseph Smith who has verbally committed to Utah. Smith is a three star athlete from Rivals.

Smith is listed as athlete, but will be playing cornerback in Salt Lake. He keeps the tradition of Utah having tall corners and Smith is 5-11 but slightly small at 185 pounds.

At the recent Los Angeles Nike combine Smith ran an electronically time 4.47 forty time, so Smith does have legitimate speed.

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