It may be the month of July, and the COVID-19 pandemic may be seriously hindering recruiting for most of the college football programs throughout the country. But for the University of Utah, head coach Kyle Whittingham and co. are off to a stellar start in recruiting compared to where they usually are this time of year.
Headlining Utah's 2021 recruiting class is quarterback Peter Costelli, one of the top-ranked passers in the country according SI All American's John Garcia.
Joining Costelli is one of the premier running backs in the country in soon-to-be four-star running back Ricky Parks out of Gaither High School in Tampa, Florida. The Utes the secured their first wide receiver commit of the 2021 class when Deamikkio Nathan, the playmaker out of South Grand Prairie High School in Grand Prairie, Texas, announced his commitment to the Utes on July 1.
All three players have been named SI All-American nominees.
But now with the offense starting to thrive, Utah must turn its attention to the other side of the ball. With three-star linebacker Trey Reynolds, another SI All-American nominee, already on board, the Utes are looking to add to its defensive line.
Enter Logan Fano, a four-star defensive end out of local Timpview High School.
Fano has been a fast rising prospect from the Mountain West, now ranking as the No. 2 prospect from the state of Utah behind offensive tackle Kinglsey Suamataia, one of the top prospects in the country.
Interestingly enough, Fano's tape really pops when he faces off with Suamataia and it's easy to see why he recently picked up that fourth star by 247sports. Fano has tremendous length already and is still growing, plus his frame looks as if he could easily add good weight.
He shocks with his athleticism as he has the ability to chase down running backs and quarterbacks from behind. He does have good bend for his size but will need to work on fighting off blocks a bit more when he gets to the collegiate level, which will come more naturally once he puts on the weight.
Altogether, Fano is a guy who just oozes potential as an outside linebacker or defensive end. He projects to be a multi-year starter and depending on his development, rice up NFL draft boards in four years.
His recruitment is technically open but most pundits are thinking it's coming down to a two-team race between Utah and Washington. Fano had previously committed to BYU before announcing his decommitment one week after he took a visit to the Utes...
One of Fano's closest friends and high school teammate Raider Damuni is currently committed to BYU — but there have been rumblings that he and Fano have talked about playing together, and in that regard Utah looks like the most logistical landing spot.
Here's a complete breakdown by SI All-American director of recruiting John Garcia regarding what Fano can do at the next level...
Prospect: Logan Fano
Status: SI All-American candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-4, 220 pounds
Position: Outside Linebacker
School: Provo (Utah) Timpview
Schools of Interest: Washington, Utah, BYU, Virginia, Oklahoma, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nebraska.
Projected Position: Outside Linebacker or Defensive End
Frame: Long with lean muscle from top to bottom. Narrow frame despite adequate height. Room to add mass throughout.
Athleticism: Excellent lateral quickness; fluid when turning and going full speed. Changes direction like a player much smaller than his actual size. Twitchy. Quick leaping ability. Solid power.
Instincts: When dropping or blitzing, reads the quarterback’s eyes as well as any linebacker in the country. Uses his hands to disengage from blockers and defend passes. Stays low when tackling.
Polish: Fano utilizes proper angles when dropping into coverage. Knows how to disengage from an offensive tackle/tight end by using his hands and lateral quickness. Adept at deflecting passes. Very good first-step burst to rush the passer.
Bottom Line: Fano provides a widespread skill set. He rushes the passer well, has good range in coverage, and can track down players with his speed. Overall, his athleticism, instincts and zest for the game make Fano a possible college linebacker or defensive end.
Over the coming weeks, SI will unveil its preseason top 10 for each of 14 position groups (kicking off with quarterbacks this week). SI will unveil its initial top 99 ranking, the SI99, on August 24.
The evaluation process will continue throughout the season “until the list of 1,000 contenders coalesces around just 25 young men who can say proudly they are the best of the best -- they are Sports Illustrated All-Americans,” said SI Director of Football Recruiting John Garcia Jr.
The candidates will be narrowed to 250 in October and 99 in November, and will culminate with 25 first-team Sports Illustrated All-Americans saluted at SI’s annual Sportsperson of the Year banquet in New York in December.
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