Blog Entry

Utah has seen 'big spike' in recruiting

Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:46 am
Posted by Chip Patterson

With their official arrival in the Pac-12, Utah can no longer be thought of as "BCS Busters." But their new AQ status has not just brought an easier path to high-profile bowl game, but also had immediate impact in recruiting. Head coach Kyle Whittingham explained the effect the jump has had on the recruiting trail on Tuesday while meeting with the media at Pac-12 Media Days.

"We've had a big spike in recruiting," Whittingham said. "For example, the announcement was made back in June a year ago, within ten days after the announcement we had several verbal commits. Many of which those players would not have been able to get in on without BCS Conference affiliation."

Here are some more highlights from Utah's time with media on Tuesday in Los Angeles:

- When asked about opening the conference schedule with USC, Whittingham called the experience "baptism by fire." The Utes will have their eyes on the Pac-12 South title, and what better way to start than to face the team picked to finish first in the division.

- Bringing in Norm Chow and switching offensive philosophies will benefit quarterback Jordan Wynn. According to Whittingham, Wynn mostly played under center in high school and should be more comfortable with the new system. That comfort will help Wynn, who will be making his way back to a full workload during camp after recovering from shoulder surgery.

- When asked about not drawing Oregon or Stanford in the conference schedule, Whittingham pointed out that while that would have worked out nicely a year ago, there still is no telling who will be the teams that will rise to the top in 2011.

"Every year is its own entity," Whittingham remarked. "Who is going to be the overachieving teams this year are the teams that emerge and come to the forefront and vice versa. So it remains to be seen."

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:11 pm

Utah has seen 'big spike' in recruiting

Having been successful in the recent past (both in and out of conference) I fully expect the Utes to be competitive against their PAC 12 rivals right out of the blocks. Of course injuries and other maladies that occur during this first season against decidedly deeper teams could be a factor towards the end but I see them holding their own. Going in, they'll have prove their worth right away, so USC is the perfect set-up. According to this article, recruiting has already shown improvement and down the road, as television money and to a lesser extent BCS bowl funds become available, I can foresee Utah becoming a dominate force not only in conference but nationally as well. 

I do not see Colorado experiencing the same scenario. 

Since: Oct 6, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2011 6:32 pm

Utah has seen 'big spike' in recruiting

You, like most of the country, seem to have underestimated the MWC... or at least the old MWC. For the last 5-8 years they have been on par with all the other AQ conferences, with the exception of the SEC and possibly the PAC-10. I will not argue this with you or anyone else, because what it comes down to is perception, and very few people outside the MWC see many of their games. Because there are no "Storied Teams" in the MWC (with the possible exception of BYU), they simply get dismissed. There is a lot of great talent in the MWC, but if you are a BCS guy or believe the rankings and recruiting of so called 5 star athletes are the final word, you just won't respect them. Utah knew this, and this is why they jumped. The Utes would have won the NC a couple years back when the whipped the horse poop outta Bama in the Sugar bowl had they simply been in an AQ conference... 

Having said this, I do not expect the Utes to win the PAC-12 this year. I think they will lose a couple games, but mark my word, they will surprise the heck out of most people this year. And the will beat USC. Write that down.  


Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:07 pm

Utah has seen 'big spike' in recruiting

They will also see a "big spike" in injuries and losses as they become acclimated to the physical demands of playing a BCS schedule every week.  This is a 7-5 to 8-4 team at best with a Pac-12 schedule.  They have one breather against Montana State and play BYU and Pitt for their non-conference games.  They have gone from one of the easiest schedules in the country to one of the toughest.  Nobody makes that transition without a lot of growing pains.  

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