Breaking down the top recruits from the state of Utah: No. 12, Omarion Fa’amoe
It's no secret that over the past couple of seasons, the state of Utah has been turning out some of the top high school and college football players in the nation — headlined by Penei Sewell, the top offensive lineman in the country and a projected top-3 pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
But even with all of the talent in the state, the Utah football program has struggled to get those star players to wear Ute red and white.
Over the past five years, Utah has yet to sign the top prospect in the state despite being the only power-5 program in the state. In fact, since 2016 Utah has signed just 14 of the top 50 recruits from the state of Utah — likewise, hated rival BYU has signed 10 of those 50.
-- 2016 = Maxs Tupai (2), Leki Fotu (3) and Fua Pututau (7)
-- 2017 = Michael Richardson (10)
-- 2018 = Tennessee Pututau (6), Hunter Lotulelei (8), Jaren Kump (9)
-- 2019 = Simote Pepa (2), Junior Tafuna (7)
-- 2020 = Van Fillinger (2), Xavier Carlton (3), Nate Ritchie (4), Alex Harrison (5), Sione Fotu (8)
So far for the 2021 class, Utah isn't having near the success it did in 2020 as Viliami Pouha (7) and and Michael Mokofisi (10) are the only players currently committed to the Utes from the top-10. But Utah is still in the running for top recruit Kinglsey Suamataia, Logan Fano (4), Isaac Vaha (8) and Jeffrey Bassa (9) and could potentially flip Raider Damuni (5) from BYU.
In the 2021 class, Jackson Light (2) is committed to Oregon, who also happens to be favorite to land Suamataia, while Voi Tunuufi (3) and Branson Yager (6) are committed to Washington and Nebraska, respectively.
Now here's a breakdown of the Utes' top remaining recruits from the state of Utah...
*3-star, Defensive End
*West HS — Salt Lake City, UT
Fa'amoe might have the most interesting offer sheet for somebody from Utah.
Of the seven offers he has, three come from the Pac-12, one comes from reigning national champion LSU and two more come from blueblood programs Tennessee and Nebraska. It's such an eclectic group of schools going after Fa'amoe's services that it's widely expected that his recruiting will continue to pickup as time goes on.
All you have to do is look at him and realize why he's so sought after from some of the top notch programs. He already looks the past of a collegiate football player, but he also showcases the frame to put on good weight and make himself more athletic and explosive.
One thing that jumps out right away when you scout him is understanding that his motor never ends and he's shockingly nimble and athletic for his size. In one clip, he runs down Park City running back Dylan Bauer — who led Class 4A in rushing — to prevent a touchdown. That sort of effort will make up for a lot of deficiencies, something he doesn't have.
He's very strong and powerful as well, with a vicious rip through that leaves opposing tackles hurting. He does a good job of extending the line of scrimmage and playing through the blocks, almost never being contained against single coverage.
Fa'amoe will have to learn better technique and become more than a one-move sort of pass rusher. He has a tendency to play with his pad level too high or lose leverage too often, but they are issues that can be fixed with more experience and coaching.
In the end and depending on the weight he puts on, Fa'amoe could thrive as a defensive tackle in the mold of former Ute Leki Fotu — but for now he's expected to be recruited as a defensive end.
At defensive end, the Utes are very young with junior Mika Tafua expected to have a major breakout season after shining as a sophomore last year — he'll be starting alone with senior Maxs Tupai. While there's a chance they're both gone after this next season, the backups this year are expected to be redshirt freshman Miki Suguturaga and a pair of incoming 4-star freshman Xavier Carlton and Van Fillinger.
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