SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Building off back-to-back Pac-12 Championships, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is bringing in his highest rated recruiting class ever.
Utah’s class is considered to be a top-25 class in the country after Early National Signing Day was completed.
The newcomers will bring literal star power to the Utes with the program reeling in the No. 21 recruiting class nationally on 247Sports. Nineteen student-athletes officially became future Utes today with Utah welcoming nine four-star and 10 three-star players to the squad as its highest-rated recruiting class in school history.
Included in this year’s class are 10 players on offense (3 OL, 3 RB, 2 WR, 1 QB, 1 TE) and nine on defense (3 DB, 3 LB, 3 DL). Utah’s newcomers will come to Salt Lake City from all across the country, including California (5), Hawaii (2), Texas (2), Mississippi (1), Idaho (1), Arizona (1), Kansas (1), Florida (2) and Utah (4).
|Roger Alderman||OL||6-4||254||Sonora, Calif./Sonora HS|
|CJ Blocker||DB||5-11||161||Houston, Texas/New Caney HS|
|Owen Chambliss||LB||6-3||206||Corona, Calif./Centennial HS|
|Hunter Clegg||DL||6-4||235||American Fork, Utah/American Fork HS|
|Spencer Fano||OL||6-5||264||Spanish Fork, Utah/Timpview HS|
|Brock Fonoimoana||LB||6-1||191||Laie, Hawaii/Kahuku HS|
|Johnathan Hall||DB||6-1||221||Houston, Texas/Katy HS|
|Mateaki Helu||LB||6-1||205||Tooele, Utah/Stansbury HS|
|Mack Howard||QB||6-2||181||Columbus, Miss./Oxford HS|
|CJ Jacobsen||TE||6-4||223||Meridian, Idaho/Rocky Mountain HS|
|Jonah Lea’ea||DL||6-4||215||San Mateo, Calif./Bishop Gorman HS|
|Caleb Lomu||OL||6-5||267||Gilbert, Ariz./Highland HS|
|Mikey Matthews||WR||5-9||179||Irvine, Calif./Mission Viejo HS|
|Mike Mitchell||RB||5-11||206||Orange Park, Fla./Middleburg HS|
|Stanley Raass||DL||6-0||286||Laie, Hawaii/Kahuku HS|
|John Randle Jr.||RB||6-0||181||Wichita, Kan./Heights HS|
|Smith Snowden||DB||5-10||173||Lehi, Utah/Skyridge HS|
|Dijon Stanley||RB||6-0||170||Granada Hills, Calif./Granada Hills Charter HS|
|Daidren Zipperer||WR||6-0||165||Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland Senior HS|
High School: Three-star recruit by 247Sports out of Sonora HS.
- Back-to-back Mother Lode League MVP.
- MLL All-League first-team as an offensive lineman his senior season.
- Part of a Wildcats squad that reached the 2022 CIF Division V championship.
- Nominated for the 2023 Bay Area Cali Classic.
- Protected for an offense that averaged 29.2 points per game his senior year on the way to a 10-3 record.
- Made 47 tackles (14.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks) and had two interceptions as a senior.
- Also lettered in basketball.
New Caney HS
High School: Four-star recruit on 247Sports out of New Caney HS.
- Ranked by 247Sports as the No. 17 cornerback in the country and No. 33 player in the Texas.
- Nominated for the 2022 Whataburger Super Team.
- 2022 District Special Teams Player of the Year.
- Helped New Caney to an 11-1 record and 7-0 district mark in his final season.
- Nine pass breakups during his senior season along with six interceptions (2 TD), 18 tackles and three kick return touchdowns.
- Had 27 tackles as a junior in 2021 with a 30-yard interception return, one fumble recovery and five PBUs.
- Also competed in track & field and helped New Caney win the 2022 district team championship.
- Part of the 4×100-meter relay team that set a school-record time of 42.08 seconds.
High School: Three-star recruit on 247Sports and Rivals.com out of Centennial HS.
- Had 43 tackles (3.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks), five interceptions, two passes defended, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery his senior season.
- Also recorded his first-career pick-six as a senior.
- Recorded 27 tackles (1.0 TFL, an interception and three passes defended as a junior.
- Helped his team to a CIF Championship in 2021.
American Fork, Utah
American Fork HS
High School: Four-star recruit on 247Sports and Rivals out of American Fork HS.
- Rated the No. 3 player in the state of Utah on 247Sports.
- Two-time 6A All-State selection, earning first-team as a senior.
- Two-time All-Region first-team.
- Invited to the Polynesian Bowl All-Star game.
- Recorded 61 tackles (11.0 TFL, 8.0 sacks) as a senior, also notching four catches for 41 yards and a touchdown.
- Had 35 tackles (6.0 sacks) his junior year.
- Also runs track, competing in the 100 and 200-meter dash.
Spanish Fork, Utah
High School: All-American Four-star recruit on 247Sports out of Timpview HS.
- Invited to the East vs. West All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
- Ranked by 247Sports as the No. 12 offensive tackle in the country and No. 2 player in Utah.
- 2022 Daily Herald All-Valley First Team and Deseret News 5A First Team.
- Protected for an offense that averaged 40.5 points per game and totaled 76 touchdowns in 2022.
- Opened holes for a near-2,000-yard rusher and a quarterback who passed for over 2,330 yards.
High School: Four-star recruit, rated the No. 3 player in Hawaii and the 33rd-best safety in the nation on 247Sports.
- Cover2 Mati Te’o Award (Defensive Player of the Year) co-winner as a senior.
- Earned All-State as a senior.
- Helped Kahuku to back-to-back state championships in 2021 and 2022.
- Invited to the 2022 Polynesian Bowl All-Star game.
- Two-way player in high school seeing time at wide receiver and safety.
- Team captain.
- Also played basketball and competed in track and field.
High School: Three-star recruit on 247Sports out of Katy HS.
- Earned 19-6A District Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-State as a senior.
- All-District first-team selection in 2022.
- Finalist for the Touchdown Club Defensive Player of the Year in 2022.
- Named Midseason Level Up Team by Prep RedZone his junior year.
High School: Three-star recruit on 247Sports out of Stansbury HS.
- Region 7 MVP and All-State honorable mention in 2021.
- Rated the No. 7 recruit in the state of Utah on 247Sports.
- Recorded 38 tackles (3.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks) as a senior.
- Had 50 tackles (2.5 TFL, 1.0 sack) his junior year, adding three forced fumbles and a pass breakup.
- Contributed 15 tackles (1.0 TFL, 1.0 sack) and a forced fumble his freshman year.
- Also played on offense, recording 3,137 all-purpose yards (2,672 rush, 426 rec, 38 KR, 1 PR) and 36 touchdowns (33 rush, 3 rec).
High School: Three-star quarterback out of Oxford HS, ranked by 247Sports as the No. 48 quarterback in the country and No. 20 player in Mississippi.
- Selected for the 2022 Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game.
- Ranked No. 9 in The Clarion Ledger’s 2022 Dandy Dozen.
- Transferred to Oxford HS and served as a captain after helping Heritage Academy to two MAIS 5A state titles in three seasons.
- As a senior in 2022, passed for 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns with Oxford HS.
- Tallied 3,475 passing yards, 47 passing touchdowns and six rushing scores at Heritage as a junior in 2021.
- In the 2021 championship game, passed for 334 yards and six touchdowns.
- Trained with QB Country’s David Morris, whose program boasts 13 NFL alumni.
- Also lettered in basketball.
Rocky Mountain HS
High School: Takis All-American out of Rocky Mountain HS was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
- Three-star recruit was ranked by 247Sports as the No. 2 player in Idaho and No. 32 tight end in the country.
- Named Idaho Statesman 5A All-State and All-Conference in 2022.
- Helped the Grizzlies to a 10-2 record his senior season.
- Eclipsed 500 receiving yards and scored eight touchdowns during the 2022 campaign.
- Also lettered in basketball while at Rocky Mountain HS.
San Mateo, Calif.
Bishop Gorman HS
High School: Three-star recruit on 247Sports out of Bishop Gorman HS.
- Rated the No. 10 recruit in the state of Nevada on 247Sports.
- Helped his team to a state championship in 2022, ranking as high as No. 2 in the country.
- Bishop Gorman went on to win the 2022 Geico State Championships Bowl Series in 2022.
- Had 48 tackles (19.0 TFL, 8.0 sacks) his senior season, adding two passes defended and a forced fumble.
- Earned MaxPreps Defensive Player of the Game twice in 2022.
- Recorded 16 tackles (5.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks) as a junior.
High School: Highland HS standout was selected to participate in the All-American Bowl and Polynesian Bowl.
- Listed as a four-star recruit by 247Sports, who ranks Lomu as the No. 21 tackle in the country and No. 3 player in Arizona.
- Earned BJ Media and Randall McDaniel Offensive Lineman of the Year after helping Highland to its second straight state title.
- Named Arizona 6A Northeast Valley All-Region First Team.
- Protected up front for an offense that averaged 307.9 yards per game in 2022.
- Opened holes for a running backs crew that combined for 191.8 rushing yards per game his senior season.
- Anchored a state championship line in 2021, helping the offense produce 317.1 yards per game.
Mission Viejo HS
High School: Four-star recruit on Rivals out of Mission Viejo HS.
- Three-time South Coast League MVP.
- Earned a spot in the Under Armour All-America game.
- Finished high school career with 2,402 receiving yards (177 catches) and 28 touchdowns over 33 games.
- Had 61 catches for 934 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns his senior year.
- Notched a career-high three receiving touchdowns against San Clemente in 2022.
- Also had a 70-yard kick return for a touchdown against Capistrano Valley his senior season.
- Recorded 843 yards on 66 receptions as a junior, scoring nine touchdowns.
- Had 34 receptions for 470 yards and eight touchdowns his sophomore year (94.0 ypg).
- Had two rushing touchdowns in his career, coming his senior and junior seasons.
- Also played rugby.
Orange Park, Fla.
High School: Four-star recruit on ESPN out of Middleburg HS.
- All-News4Jax second-team honors in 2021.
- All-Clay County first-team selection in 2021.
- Times-Union Super 11 as a junior.
- Rated the No. 16 running back in the country on ESPN.
- Finished high school career with 240 carries for 2,002 yards (8.3 ypc), 22 touchdowns and nine 100-yard games.
- Had 2,626 all-purpose yards in high school (2,002 rush, 240 rec, 341 KR, 43 PR).
- Recorded 55 carries for 450 yards (8.2 ypc) and three touchdowns as a senior.
- Also had 10 catches for 209 yards (20.9 ypc) and a receiving touchdown in 2022.
- As a junior, rushed for 1,378 yards and 18 touchdowns in just eight games (8.9 ypc).
- Ran for 255 yards against St. Augustine his junior year.
- Notched 291 kickoff return yards as a sophomore, also rushing for 140 yards on 27 carries.
- Also runs track and field, posting a 10.81 in the 100-meter dash in 2022.
High School: Three-star recruit on 247Sports as a senior at Kahuku HS after transferring from Skyridge HS in Lehi.
- Rated the No. 9 recruit in the state of Hawaii on 247Sports.
- Invited to the 2022 Polynesian Bowl.
- 2022 Cover2 Hawaii High School Lineman of the Year finalist.
- Two-time All-State selection, earning second-team in 2021 as a junior at Skyridge.
- Two-time All-Region first-team honoree.
- Had 17 tackles (6.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks) with a forced fumble his senior season at Kahuku.
- Recorded 37 total tackles (14.0 TFL, 5.0 sacks) and two fumble recoveries in his three seasons at Skyridge (2019-21).
- Had a career-high 5.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks as a sophomore.
- Notched 16 stops (4.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks) as a freshman.
John Randle Jr.
High School: Four-star recruit on 247Sports out of Heights HS.
- Rated the No. 4 recruit in the state of Kansas and the No. 26 running back in the country on 247Sports.
- Two-time All-State selection, earning first-team as a returner in 2022.
- Three straight seasons with over 1,000 yards rushing to finish out his high school career.
- Recorded 49 rushing touchdowns and 23 100-yard rushing games in his career.
- Had 118 carries for 1,227 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns (10.4 ypc) his senior year, adding eight catches for 73 yards (1 TD) and 148 kick return yards.
- Recorded 116 attempts for 1,095 rushing yards (9.4 ypc) and 16 touchdowns in nine games as a junior along with 17 catches for 267 yards (2 TDs) and 116 kick return yards.
- Had 102 carries for 1,009 rushing yards and 10 touchdown (9.9 ypc) his sophomore season, adding five catches for 57 yards and 220 kick return yards.
- Also had 67 carries for 708 yards and eight touchdowns (10.6 ypc) and 97 receiving yards (1 TD) as a freshman.
- Also competes in track and field, winning the Kansas 6A state triple jump championship in 2022.
High School: Four-star recruit out of Skyridge HS.
- Rated the No. 4 recruit in the state of Utah and the No. 30 defensive back in the country on 247Sports.
- 2022 Deseret News Mr. Football.
- 2022 MaxPreps Utah Football Player of the Year.
- Three-time All-State first-team selection.
- Three-time All-Region first-team, earning Region 4 Defensive MVP in 2022
- Helped Skyridge to the 6A state championship in 2022.
- Finished his high school career with 16 interceptions and 26 passes defended.
- Recorded 28 tackles, six interceptions (two pick-sixes) and 14 pass breakups his senior year.
- Had four interceptions, eight passes defended and two fumble recoveries as a junior, adding 18 total tackles (1.0 TFL).
- Recorded 36 total tackles (1.0 TFL) as a sophomore, adding six interceptions and 10 passes defended.
- Also competes in track and field, running a sub-11.00 in the 100-meters.
Granada Hills, Calif.
Granada Hills Charter HS
High School: Los Angeles Times Player of the Year and All-Star helped Granada Hills HS to the 2022 City Section and Regional championships.
- Ranked as a three-star recruit by 247Sports, the No. 28 athlete in the country and No. 34 player in California.
- Played just one full season in high school due to injury.
- Contributed 234 carries for 2,756 yards (11.8 ypc) and 33 touchdowns as a senior.
- Logged 100-plus yards on the ground in 13 of 14 games during the 2022 state runner-up season.
- Rushed 27 times for 273 yards and four touchdowns in the regional title game.
- Racked up 378 yards and five scores in the City Division I final.
- Also a 400-meter City Section champion.
Lakeland Senior HS
High School: Three-star recruit on 247Sports out of Lakeland Senior HS.
- Had 23 catches for 458 yards (19.9 ypc) and two touchdowns his senior season, adding one touchdown pass for 40 yards on a trick play.
- Helped Lakeland Senior HS to a state championship in 2022.
- As a junior, had 277 receiving yards and two touchdowns (17 catches), also throwing a 75-yard touchdown pass.
- Also played basketball.