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January 21, 2013

Utes land OL commit

Offensive line has been a need for the Utes as they put together the final pieces of the recruiting class of 2013. The Utes got help on the line in a big way over the weekend as they landed a commitment from Salesi Uhatafe, a 6-foot-5 inch, 300 pound offensive tackle out of Trinity High School (Euless, Texas).

Uhatafe committed to the Utes at the end of an official visit that convinced him that Utah was the place he wanted to be. "I liked everything about the visit. There was nothing that I didn't like. The best part was probably just getting to hang out with all of the players and seeing how close they are. It's a good family environment at Utah and I could picture myself there," Uhatafe said.

Uhatafe was hosted on his trip by former high school teammate Hiva Lutui. "Hiva was just laid back about it. He wasn't trying to persuade me to commit. He just told me to have a good time, and he was cool about it. He answered a lot of questions about the offensive line coach," he said.

The trip gave Uhatafe the opportunity to sit down at length with Utah offensive line coach Dan Finn and learn about how the Utes plan to use him. "Coach Finn is real cool. I could tell that he's a good coach from what players are telling me. He knows what he's talking about at the end of the day and he seemed like he was being true about what he was saying," he said. "The coaches told me that they're looking at me as a tackle, and that I have a good chance to get a spot on the roster. I like their scheme because they take a lot of work from their tackles and keep it simple in the gameplan. Also, just being around those guys that have experience is going to help me out a lot."

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham also made a strong impression on Uhatafe, who "He's cool too. He was real excited when I told him I was committed. He told me what [my commitment] means to program. He's a real cool guy. He has a real strong goals and wants all of his athletes to graduate, and that's something that I admire. He cares more about his players off field than on the field," he explained.

Despite his commitment, Uhatafe is still getting attention from other schools, most notably Texas Tech, who are trying to get him to set up an official visit. However, Uhatafe isn't sure he wants to take other trips after making his commitment. "I think I'm done, but we'll see. I might have one more visit lined up next week to Texas Tech," he said.

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