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February 6, 2013

Signing day central

Today is National Signing Day, and UteZone will give you up-to-the-minute updates on news that breaks throughout the day. We'll also give you breakdowns of the players and the overall class as the letters of intent arrive. Check the Inside Ute Nation message board for breaking news and answers to questions on specific players.

Here are the players who have already signed LOIs:

Andrew Albers - Offensive Tackle
Orange Coast Community College - Costa Mesa, CA
Recruiting Coach: Aaron Roderick
6-foot-7 inches 310 pounds
This will be Albers' second stint with the Utes, as he participated in spring football two years ago as a freshman before leaving school and subsequently going the JUCO route. Albers brings a lot to the table for the Utes. He has prototypical size for a left tackle, moves well laterally, and uses his hands well. Albers has already signed and will participate in spring football.

Andre Lewis - Wide Receiver
Diablo Valley College - Pleasant Hill, CA
Recruiting Coach: Ilaisa Tuiaki
6-foot-4 inches, 220 pounds
Lewis is a big receiving target with NFL bloodlines and tremendous potential. Lewis has terrific hands and is deceptively fast with the ability to fight his way for yards after the catch. He was the go-to receiver whenever Diablo Valley needed a big play or moved the ball close to the goal line. As a four star recruit, Lewis has big expectations, but his best football is ahead of him, and he has the tools to be a big play receiver for the Utes.

Davion Orphey - Cornerback
Santa Ana College - Santa Ana, CA
Recruiting Coach: Aaron Roderick
6-foot-1 inches, 185 pounds
Orphey is a big, physical cornerback that is expected to come in and contribute right away. He's comfortable playing bump and run on the outside, and isn't afraid to hit ball carriers. At one time Orphey was committed to rival BYU, but flipped his commitment during an October official visit to Salt Lake City.

Gregory Reese - Tight End
Arizona Western College - Yuma, AZ
Recruiting Coach: Dan Finn
6-foot-6 inches, 246 pounds
Reese is a big, fast, physical tight end that should immediately break into the two deep. He's already a strong blocker and has the size and speed to present matchup problems for opposing defenses. Reese sat out last season in order to get his academics in order, but is currently on campus and will participate in spring football.

Micah Thomas - Quarterback
North Shore High School - Galena Park, TX
Recruiting Coach: Morgan Scalley
6-foot-1 inches, 180 pounds
Thomas was a signing day decision, picking the Utes over a late push from in-state Baylor. Thomas was initially recruited as a pure athlete by the Utes, but will get his start at quarterback. He is versatile enough to play other positions if he doesn't work out at quarterback. Thomas is a pure leader with terrific speed that chose the Utes due to his relationship with Morgan Scalley and Brian Johnson.

Sam Tevi - Defensive End
Trinity High School - Euless, TX
Recruiting Coach: Morgan Scalley
6-foot-5 inches, 285 pounds
Tevi was a monster on the defensive line for Trinity this season, often commanding double teams in one of the better leagues in Texas. He is one of the most physically imposing linemen in the country and already has the frame and skill set to be a contender for playing time as a true freshman.

Hipolito Corporan - Cornerback
Westside High School - Houston, TX
Recruiting Coach: Morgan Scalley
6-foot-1 inches, 190 pounds
Corporan is one of the elite cornerbacks coming out of the state of Texas this season. The former Virginia commit is fast and physical and should match up well against the elite receivers in the Pac-12.

Uaea Masina - Linebacker
Brighton High School - Sandy, UT
Recruiting Coach: Jay Hill
6-foot-4 inches, 200 pounds
Masina was one of the most electrifying players in the state of Utah before nagging injuries caught up with him at the end of the season. The do-it-all standout not only played running back, linebacker, safety, kick returner and punter last season, he also graduated from high school in November in order to join the Utes for spring football. Masina will play linebacker at Utah.

Salesi Uhatafe - Offensive Line
Trinity High School - Euless, TX
Recruiting Coach: Morgan Scalley
6-foot-5 inches, 310 pounds
Although he didn't play varsity football extensively until his senior season, it didn't take long for Uhatafe to establish himself as one of the top offensive linemen in the Dallas area. Uhatafe made a name for himself as a violent road grader that can play at both guard and tackle at the next level.

Gaius Vaenuku - Defensive End
Trinity High School - Euless, TX
Recruiting Coach: Morgan Scalley
6-foot-6 inches, 270 pounds
Vaenuku was the last of the trio of players from Euless Trinity to commit to Utah, but he may be the most gifted in terms of raw athletic ability. Vaenuku will play for a season prior to serving an LDS mission, and could see immediate playing time as a freshman as well.

Troy McCormick - Running Back
Maede Creek High School - Katy, TX
Recruiting Coach: Morgan Scalley
5-foot-9 inches, 175 pounds
McCormick combines pure speed with the ability to gain tough yards between the tackles. He doesn't shy away from contact, but can run away from players once he reaches the second level. McCormick is a track standout that runs a blazing fast 10.52 in the 100.

Harrison Handley - Tight End
Alta High School - Sandy, UT
Recruiting Coach: Jay Hill
6-foot-6 inches, 200 pounds
Handley may be one of the more underrated prospects in the signing class. He's a tall, athletic receiving threat with great hands that turned heads with his abilities at the Elite 11 camp before turning in an outstanding senior season. Handley is also working to graduate early in the hopes of joining the Utes this spring.

Conner Manning - Quarterback
El Toro High School - Lake Forest, CA
Recruiting Coach: Aaron Roderick
6-foot-2 inches, 195 pounds
Manning shattered passing records in Orange County as a junior and lived up to lofty expectations as a senior. He is an intelligent, team first quarterback with a solid arm and strong leadership skills that will fit in well in Kyle Whittingham's program.

Marcus Williams - Running Back
Durango High School - Las Vegas, NV
Recruiting Coach: Jay Hill
5-foot-11 inches, 204 pounds
Williams is one of the top athletes in the class, as he finished first overall in last spring's NIKE SPARQ combine in Long Beach. Williams fueled much of his team's offensive efforts as a senior and will start out as a running back at Utah. However, he also has the versatility to play safety.

Myron Aiava - Defensive End
Westminster High School - Westminster, CA
Recruiting Coach: Aaron Roderick
6-foot-5 inches, 270 pounds
Aiava is another big and athletic defensive line prospect for this class. He committed in the summer after earning an offer at Utah's elite camp and never wavered. Look for Aiava to bulk up and play defensive tackle for the Utes when he arrives on campus.

Devontae Booker - Running Back
American River College - Sacramento, CA
Recruiting Coach: Jay Hill
5-foot-11 inches, 195 pounds
Booker was one of the top JUCO running back prospects in California this last season, averaging 7.2 yards per carry and scoring 15 touchdowns. As a JUCO transfer, Booker is expected to come in and immediately compete for a spot in the rotation, and will aim to challenge Kelvin York for the starter's role.

Dominique Hatfield - Athlete
Crenshaw High School - Los Angeles, CA
Recruiting Coach: Brian Johnson
5-foot-11 inches, 170 pounds
Hatfield is one of the most underrated players in the class of 2013. The talented athlete was one of the best receivers in California as a senior, but may have been an even better cornerback. Hatfield was named defensive player of the year in his league after a season where he grabbed eight interceptions.

Sese Ianu - Defensive Tackle
Golden West College - Huntington Beack, CA
Recruiting Coach: Aaron Roderick
6-foot-3 inches, 300 pounds
Ianu was one of the best JUCO defensive tackle prospects in the West this season, and was courted by several Pac-12 schools before committing to Utah. He is a disruptive lineman that has an uncanny ability to shed blocks and wreak havoc for opposing offensive linemen. Ianu is expected to compete for a starting spot this fall.

Dre'Vian Young
Nimitz High School - Houston, TX
Recruiting Coach: Morgan Scalley
5-foot-10 inches, 180 pounds
Young is another Texas back that brings pure speed and athleticism to the Utes' backfield. He is a home run threat that received significant late interest from schools such as Baylor, Arkansas and Texas. In addition to his football prowess, Young is one of the top track athletes in the nation, and is expected to win the Texas state championship in the 400 m.

Filipo Mokofisi - Defensive End
Woods Cross High School - Woods Cross, UT
Recruiting Coach: Jay Hill/Kalani Sitake
6-foot-3 inches, 210 pounds
Mokofisi is the son of one of Utah's all time greats at linebacker, and will be looking to create his own legacy when he arrives on the hill. The two-way standout played tight end and linebacker/defensive end for Woods Cross, but is expected to bulk up enough to play defensive end as a Ute.

Tevin Carter - Safety
Southwest Los Angeles College - Los Angeles, CA
Recruiting Coach: Kalani Sitake
6-foot-2 inches, 220 pounds
Carter, a former Rivals 250 standout in high school found new life as a safety at Southwest Los Angeles College. He made a name for himself as a ball hawking free safety, and is expected to fill a similar role for the Utes when he arrives in Salt Lake City.

X'avier Shepherd - Wide Receiver
Lakewood High School - Lakewood, CA
Recruiting Coach: Chad Kauha'aha'a/Aaron Roderick
6-foot, 175 pounds
Shepherd is one of the elite recruits in the class of 2013. The Semper Fi All-American held offers from multiple Pac-12 and Big 10 programs before choosing Utah in the summer. Although injuries slowed Shepherd down during much of his senior season, he is expected to be a big play receiver for the Utes when he arrives on campus.

Brandon Cox - Quarterback
Pasadena High School - Pasadena, CA
Recruiting Coach: Brian Johnson
6-foot-2 inches, 185 pounds
Cox is one of the better quarterback prospects that Kyle Whittingham has signed during his tenure. Cox was ranked as a four star recruit prior to a season ending foot injury that held him out of all but two games. The former Arizona commit has already enrolled and will participate in spring football.


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