COVID-19 could make Utah struggle in recruiting amongst Pac-12 teams

Ryan Kostecka

Was Utah's 2020 recruiting class an anomaly or a sign of things to come for the Utes?

As of now, Utah only has five players committed in the 2021 class, headlined by 4-star QB prospect Peter Costelli. He's a dual threat quarterback who possesses tremendous upside after recently breaking out at an Elite 11 Regional camp in Los Angeles in March.

"Costelli really came on strong towards the latter half of the camp and looked as good as we have seen him look in person," said Greg Biggins, 247sports analyst in his recap of Costelli's commitment to Utah. "If we were to rank the quarterbacks based on performance, he would have been among our top five for the day."

Apart from Costelli though, Utah has four three-star players, all of whom could fill in later down that road but none of which are expected to make an immediate impact.

Currently, Utah has the Pac-12's 10th ranked class rankings and 90th in the country.

USC and Oregon are clearly the class of the Pac-12, leading the conference with the first and second ranked classes in the conference — and fifth and sixth in the nation, respectively.

Washington (No. 37) and UCLA (No. 45) are ranked No. 3 and 4 in program rankings in the conference, and the only other Pac-12 teams ranked in the top 50 in the nation.

Utah's five commits are the second-fewest in the conference, with only Stanford and Colorado — who rank 11th and 12th respectively — having fewer commits.

With all of that being said, is it a cause for concern with where Utah's class currently sits — especially when considering the recruiting dead period will be lasting until August 31?

It's no secret that Utah isn't one of the Pac-12's premier recruiting programs. Rather, head coach Kyle Whittingham and his staff do a tremendous job of developing 3-star talent and turning those players into all-conference, all-American and future NFL draft picks

But last season, the Utes appeared to be turning things around when they finished with the nation's 29th best recruiting class, including checking in at No. 5 in the Pac-12.

Ironically enough, last year's player rating average was .8653 — but right now, the Utes check in with a higher grade at .8713 so if they continue on that current trajectory, the program will end up just fine. 

Utah is also in the running for multiple big-time and four-star prospects that are still available. So getting a few of those players will be big in seeing if Whittingham and co. can keep the momentum of last season's class and back-to-back Pac-12 championship game appearances.