Utah Utes WR commit Deamikkio Nathan is an SI All-American nominee

Ryan Kostecka

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 fo Gaither High School on Tampa, Florida. But with those two on board, Utah was still left without a wide receiver commit for the 2021 class.

Welcome Deamikkio Nathan, the playmaker out of South Grand Prairie High School in Grand Prairie, Texas, who announced his commitment to the Utes on July 1. It was then announced on Wednesday that Nathan was named an SI All-American nominee.

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.

Nathan is the type of recruit who is only going to get better with the older and more mature he gets. He already possesses a lot of the natural ability and skillset to thrive, but is still growing into his body and learning the finer points of the game.

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He's extremely well built at his age, already playing bigger than his size suggests and showcasing a physical component to his game that is hard to come by in high school. He should put on even more weight once he gets into a collegiate strength and conditioning program, which will only heighten his overall skillset.

He shows good short area quickness and the ability to climb over the top of defenses, while showcasing flashes of ability to be a threat with his run-after-catch ability.

But even with his positives, there is still some room for growing.

He needs to become more consistent with using his hands overall, whether it be catching the ball or blocking. He also needs to work on his high-point capabilities because he's listed at only 6-foot, so he will need to fight for jump balls.

Utah only signed one wide receiver from the 2020 class, but two other players were signed as athletes and could see time on the offensive side of the ball. Juniors Bryan Thompson, Solomon Enis and Britain Covey are the expected starters for the upcoming 2020 season while senior Samson Nacua, junior Jaylen Dixon and freshman Devaughn Vele should all contribute on that side of the ball

Here's a complete breakdown by SI All-American director of recruiting John Gracia regarding what Nathan can do at the next level...

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Prospect: WR Deamikkio Nathan
Projected Position: WR Status: SI All-American candidate
Vitals: 6-foot, 185 pounds
School: Grand Prairie (Texas) South Grand Prairie
Committed to: Utah Utes

Frame: Well-developed, compact built receiver who shows definition with room to grow even more in his frame.

Athleticism: Fluid in his movements as a runner, and he comes from a track and field background. Posted an 11.6 100 meters time this spring, and he shows nice top-end speed on film. Consistent with his hands, but has room to improve.

Instincts: Drives routes down the field well and can overwhelm defenders at times with his speed. Shows natural instincts when the ball is in the air and in his hands.

Polish: Shows a natural release and drives his routes effectively down the field. He has the capability to improve his route tree and leverage defenders with more variation. Needs to work on his ability to high point the ball and catch it with his hands more often.

Bottom Line: Nathan is a talented, natural receiver with quality top-end speed and a fluid, quick release. He needs to improve his route variation and leverage defenders more at the second and third level, but he shows the capability to do so at times. He needs to improve his ball skills down the field and catch the ball at its highest point more often. Nathan’s speed and athleticism are desirable, and he projects as a Power 5 receiver.

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