Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham joined Campus Insiders to discuss the state of the Utes on the recruiting trail.
It’s been a great season thus far for Utah. Despite a recent loss to College Football Playoff contender Washington, the Utes are still 7-2 and bound for a bowl game. They’re also still in contention to reach the Pac-12 Championship Game.
In terms of the future, at least on paper, things could look brighter. Utah is ranked No. 74 with only seven commits in the 2017 recruiting class rankings. However, when Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham spoke with Campus Insiders, he made it clear that his program is one on the rise, and that’s exactly what he says to recruits.
“Well, first of all, we feel our sales pitch right now is that we’re trending upward,” Whittingham said. “We’ve been in the league for six years and have made strides virtually every year. We feel like we have a bright future.”
But surely there has to be a method for Whittingham and his staff. Utah doesn’t regularly pluck blue-chip prospects from gigantic pipelines like Florida, Texas or California. Though that could change with the Utes’ recent success. They did just land 4-star recruit Jaylon Johnson, the No. 6 cornerback and No. 59 overall player in the nation out of Fresno, California.
Whittingham wasn’t able to discuss Johnson’s commitment due to NCAA rules, but he did shed some light on the kind of recruit his program targets.
“As far as the type of players we’re looking for, we put a premium on character. We’ve turned away hundreds of really good football players that we just don’t feel are good people,” Whittingham said. “We try to get the right kind of guys in here, and we have a great chemistry on the football team. We have a group of guys who really care about each other and get along with each other. So, making sure they [recruits] fit in that regard is important to us, as well.”
In a time when plenty of coaches would do anything for a 5-star commit, Whittingham searches for the right kind of commit. Look no further than all the success in Salt Lake City, the method has worked so far.