Utah makes top-6 for 3-star OL Noah Pulealii out of California
With the NCAA extending the recruiting dead period all the way until August 31, now is an extremely important to continue to connect with recruits via phone, text, facetime, etc.
Any chance that Utah coaches have to be in contact with recruits, they must take full advantage of it for the upcoming 2021 class — which currently consists of Peter Costelli (4*, QB), Ricky Parks (3*, RB), Deamikkio Nathan (3*, WR), Trey Reynolds (3*, LB), Koli Faaiu (3*, OG), Viliami Pouha (3*, DE) and Tevita Fotu (JC, DL). Creating relationships with the prospects and setting up on-campus visits for when the dead period ends will be vital if head coach Kyle Whittingham and his staff want to build on the success of the program's greatest recruiting class when the Utes finished with the No. 29 class in the country last year.
"We feel really good about this class," Whittingham said after the singing of the 2020 class. "Our net has been cast fairly wide now and we have guys from all over the country. More than anything though, we are now able to stand toe-to-toe and win some of these battles with high profile schools. If you look at our recruits and their offers, we are beating some really good schools - schools we couldn't even be in the conversation with six or seven years ago."
Utah's class is now ranked No. 79 in the country and No. 9 in the Pac-12 — moving up 12 spots in the nation and one spot in the conference with the commits of Parks and Nathan.
Now we are going to look at some of Utah's top targets in the 2021 class...
*3-star, Offensive lineman
*6-foot-5, 310 pounds
*Palma High School — Salinas, California
When watching Pulealli's film and measurements, it's difficult to understand why is rated as only a 3-star prospect. His final six is extremely loaded with bluebloods Florida and Oklahoma, while Utah is one of four Pac-12 teams with Cal, UCLA and Arizona State.
Talk about a versatile prospect who can either play as an offensive tackle or move inside and become an uber-athletic, physical guard. The thought of pairing Pulealii with current Utah commit Faaiu on the inside and its hard not to imagine the sort of holes that duo would open for Parks and Costelli.
Currently Pulealii plays right tackle in high school and has the skillset to stay there in college, but I think he's best suited for the inside of the offensive line.
He's physical and plays with a nasty streak, a trait coveted in Utah's offensive lineman. He consistently bullies defenders and showcases a strong drive and initial punch off the line, and the athleticism to get to the next level and move in space.
For his size, Pulealii shows a real natural amount of athleticism with great feet. He also possesses good flexibility throughout his hips and a real natural bend that would allow him to play on the inside. His strength is easily one of his best attributes, and he will only develop more once he gets into a collegiate strength and conditioning program.
Senior Bamidele Olaseni and sophomore Simi Moala are expected to be the starters at the tackle positions entering the 2020 season. Moala is already established after starting most of last season at right tackle, so expect him to hold on to that spot until he leaves in three years.
Olaseni has struggled in past season and will most likely get the first chance at the start role. A darkhorse candidate is Keaton Bills has shown a lot of potential, but he lacks experience so gaining some this year will be vital for him going forward.
Moving forward with the 2021 class, the offensive guard position is not a huge need. Utah currently has seven freshman or sophomore interior linemen on scholarship—not to mention two more incoming freshmen in Alex Harrison and Solatoa Moeai who could see action in the interior.