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Tom Hackett #33 of the Utah Utes watches his kick during their game against the Michigan Wolverines at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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How Recruiting At Utah Has Changed Over The Years

Tom Hackett #33 of the Utah Utes watches his kick during their game against the Michigan Wolverines at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Since my arrival to Utah in 2012 to where we are now in 2019, the recruiting process has changed drastically.

Yes, social media has flipped the game on its head, which is why programs have brought on social media coordinators and graphic design artists.

There is now so much more to recruiting than just making sure recruits are content with their photos that teams put out on social media.

Recruiting Visits Are Key

Recruiting visits are very important. Utah football puts their prospects in the Grand America Hotel, feeds them well, and then takes them up towards Park City to take them snowmobiling.

Utah’s coaches stress on making the prospects feel as though the Ute program is all about family. Family is everything.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard Coach Whittingham talk about the environment of the team.

“One third of the team is African American, one third Caucasian and another third Polynesian,” Whittingham said. “It is crucial that we all get along and spend time with each other whether that being in the cafeteria eating, in the weight room or outside the facilities spending time with one and other.”

Utah Boosts Fantastic Facilities

The football facility is also another big help in recruiting, having the latest locker room improvements and training facilities are very appealing for any young athlete.

Utah Football has benefited greatly from the upgrade that occurred in 2013. I know this because I have spoken to players who committed around that time and they were blown away.

The locker room is comfortable for the players. The training room is spacious, and the players’ lounge has a ton of “toys” to keep the players happy on their spare time.

They even have a private hair salon in which certain players play the role of barber. When I was on the team, that person was then-tight end Siale Fakailoatonga.

Look Good, Play Good

The most important factor that goes into recruiting in my opinion is the equipment staff.

It is not a coincidence that Utah’s equipment staff have upped their game when it comes to the diversity in the uniform and helmet department.

The hand-painted helmets are amazing. Everybody that I have spoken to, inside and outside the facility doors, loves the designs and cannot wait to see what next year’s helmet looks like.

The different uniform combinations are put together by the leadership group, which is run by the players.

The players run the program. Everything is all about the players and Coach Whittingham has no problem with admitting that.

Utes In Good Shape For Future Recruiting

Winning obviously helps. The last couple of seasons Utah has been able to compete with the best teams in the Pac-12. Recruits notice, and it’s another big reason why Utah has been able to go out and get some high caliber football players.

I expect this upcoming season to be no different. Utah should, barring any injuries to key players, win the South Divison and have a great chance at winning the Pac-12 this season.

I love what Coach Whittingham has built at the U and cannot wait to see what the future holds for this program. They are constantly improving in all departments, and it is a credit to the work ethic of everyone that steps inside those doors on a daily basis.