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Utah Football Completes 2021 Recruiting Class On National Signing Day

A general view of a helmet worn by the Utah Utes against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium on November 28, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah football program announced their 2021 recruiting class on National Signing Day.

Utah football is expected to have a small amount of players sign on National Signing Day with most of the class already signing back in December.

Here is the new recruits for Utah who put their names on the dotted line on February’s National Signing Day as well as the December recruits who signed with the Utes.

Utah Football National Signing Day February Recruits

Ja’Quinden Jackson, QB

Jackson is a former four-star recruit coming out of Duncanville High School in Texas. He spent one season with the Texas Longhorns before entering the transfer portal on December 15, 2020. Just five days later, Jackson announced that he was going to join the Utes. Coming out of high school, Jackson was the No. 10 ranked prospect in the state of Texas and the third highest rated dual threat quarterback in the nation.

Jackson received offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Baylor, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida State, Houston, Illinois, Jackson State, Kansas, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Utah and Virginia Tech.

Charlie Brewer, QB

Brewer is a veteran starting quarterback that is coming to Utah after starting for four years at Baylor. The new Utah signal caller threw for 9,700 yards, 65 touchdowns and 28 interceptions in 44 games played. The Austin, Texas native’s best season at Baylor was as a junior in 2019 when he had 3,161 passing yards for 21 TD’s and 7 INT’s.

Brewer earned All-Big 12 honorable mention and was an Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award finalist. The Bears finished the 2019 season with an 11-3 record, falling to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game and was defeated by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. This past season, Brewer threw for 1,958 yards, 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions as the Bears went 2-7.

TJ Pledger, RB

Pledger is a standout running back that is transferring to Utah from Oklahoma. The Bradenton, Florida native spent three seasons with the Sooners. In 23 games played in Norman, Pledger rushed for 695 yards and 6 touchdowns. Pledger is from IMG Academy in Florida, which is one of the top high schools in the country.

Coming out of high school, Pledger was a four-star prospect that was ranked No. 4 as an all-purpose back in the nation and the 22nd ranked recruit in the state of Florida. This past season, Pledger rushed for 451 yards and 5 touchdowns. His best game in 2020 was against rival Texas in the Red River Showdown, where he racked up 131 yards and two touchdowns.

Chris Curry, RB

Curry brings SEC experience with him to Utah after spending three seasons with the LSU Tigers. The Lehigh Acres, Florida native was a member of the 2019 National Championship team. Through three seasons in Baton Rouge, Curry racked up 336 yards on 91 carries.

His best game as a Tiger was in the 2019 Peach Bowl which was also one of the College Football Playoff Semifinals. With Clyde Edwards-Heliare out, quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow asked the coaches to start Curry. He rushed a career-high 90 yards in their win over Oklahoma. During the 2020 season, Curry had 145 yards on 45 rushing attempts.

Utah Football National Signing Day Recruits Who Signed In December

Elisha Lloyd, CB

Lloyd is a three-star cornerback from Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, California. The 5’10, 175 lbs. Defensive back is the No. 63 recruit in the state of California and No. 64 corner in the country.

Lloyd originally committed to Washington State before decommitting on October 26, 2020. He verbally committed to Utah on November 2, 2020. Utah cornerbacks coach Sharrieff Shah was his primary recruiter.

Lloyd told KSL Sports why he chose Utah.

“The main reason I chose The University of Utah because of the connection I was able to build with the coaching staff along with all the positive benefits that will be provided for me at Utah. And of course it being one of the top football programs in the nation,” Lloyd said.

The San Marcos, California native received scholarship offers from Washington State, Boise State, Boston College, Fresno State, Hawai’i, Idaho, Idaho State, Kansas State, Lehigh, Navy, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Pennsylvania, Sacramento State, San Diego State, Tulane and UNLV.

Darrien Stewart, S

Stewart is a three-star recruit from Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 6’2, 190 lbs. Safety is the No. 9 prospect in the state of Nevada and the 104th ranked safety in the country.

Stewart verbally committed to the Utes on September 27, 2020. His primary recruiter was Utah defensive coordinator and safeties coach Morgan Scalley.

The Las Vegas, Nevada native received offers from Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawai’i, Nevada, Northern Colorado, San Diego State, UCLA, UNLV, Utah State, Washington State and West Virginia.

Mason Tufaga, ILB

Tufaga is a four-star prospect from St. Louis High School in Honolulu, Hawai’i. The 6’1, 210 lbs. inside linebacker is the No. 2 prospect in the state of Hawai’i and the 15th ranked inside linebacker in the nation.

Tufaga was selected to the Polynesian Bowl. He attended the same high school as former Oregon Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Marcus Mariota. As a junior in 2019, Tufaga helped St. Louis to the Hawai’i Division I Open state championship. Tufaga verbally committed to Utah on August 31, 2020. His primary recruiter was Utah defensive line coach Lewis Powell with linebackers coach Colton Swan as the secondary recruiter.

Other than Utah, Tufaga received scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Fresno State, Hawai’i, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, South Carolina, USC and Utah State.

Makai Cope, WR

Cope is a three-star wide receiver from Culver City, California. The 6’2, 190 lbs. receiver is the 44th ranked recruit in the state of California and No. 80 wide receiver in the country. In 2019, Cope had 46 receptions for 802 yards and 9 touchdowns.

The wide receiver has recently been working out with quarterback Peter Costelli in California.He verbally committed to Utah on December 4, 2020.

Cope spoke to KSL Sports on why he picked the Utes.

“The ability to compete to play as a true freshman,” Cope said. “The stability of the coaching staff and their straight forward talk. The huge fan base. I love the campus and the vibe. I have been to Salt Lake City many times with my family.”

Cope received scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Fresno State, Kansas State, Michigan, Oregon State, San Jose State, Stanford, Syracuse, USC and Washington State.

Isaac Vaha, TE

Vaha is a “hometown hero,” coming from Pleasant Grove High School. The 6’7, 230 lbs. tight end is a three-star prospect that is ranked No. 7 in the state of Utah and the 23rd ranked tight end in the nation. Vaha played two sports while with Pleasant Grove, playing football and basketball.

During the 2020 season, Vaha had 17 catches for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns. He verbally committed to the Utes on October 15, 2020. His primary recruiter was Utah tight ends coach Freddie Whittingham and defensive tackles coach Sione Po’uha was the secondary recruiter.

Vaha received scholarship offers from Arizona State, BYU, California, Colorado, Colorado State, Liberty, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, Penn State, Texas Tech, UCLA, Utah State, Virginia, Washington, Washington State and West Virginia.

Kolinu’u Faaiu, OG

Faaiu is a three-star offensive guard from North Creek High School in Bothell, Washington. The 6’4, 315 lbs. Lineman is the No. 13 rated recruit in the state of Washington and No. 47 offensive guard in the country.

The Bothell, Washington native verbally committed to Utah on June 3, 2020. Utes offensive line coach Jim Harding was his primary recruiter. Faaiu was selected to the Polynesian Bowl.

Faaiu told KSL Sports why he chose Utah.

“I picked Utah because it was the best fit for me,” Faaiu said. “I would be around players who will be like family.”

Faaiu received scholarship offers from Boise State, Colorado, Hawai’i, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan State, Nevada, UNLV and Washington State.

Jonah Elliss, OLB

Elliss is a three-star prospect from Moscow Senior High School in Moscow, Idaho. The 6’2, 210 lbs. Outside linebacker is the No. 1 recruit in the state of Idaho and the 66th ranked outside linebacker in the nation.

Jonah is the son of former Utah legend Luther Elliss. His brother Kaden is currently playing in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints. He verbally committed to the Utes on August 7, 2020. Utah defensive line coach Lewis Powell was his primary recruiter.

Elliss received scholarship offers from Air Force, Army, Boise State, Idaho, Louisville, Washington State and Weber State.

Peter Costelli, QB

Costelli is a four-star prospect from Mission Viejo, California. The 6’3, 205 lbs. dual-threat quarterback is the No. 22 recruit in the state of California and the 10th ranked dual-threat QB in the nation. In 2019, Costelli threw 1,992 yards, 23 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, while rushing for four TD’s.

Costelli verbally committed to Utah on April 11, 2020. Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig was the primary recruiter with tight ends coach Freddie Whittingham as the secondary recruiter.

The Mission Viejo, California native received offers from Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Duke, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Louisville, LSU, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oregon, Oregon State, Purdue, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and Washington State.

Viliami Po’uha, DE

Po’uha is a “hometown hero” for the Utes. The 6’2, 230 lbs. Defensive end is a three-star prospect from Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah. Po’uha is the No 13 recruit in the state of Utah and the 75th ranked defensive end in the nation.

He is the son of Utah defensive tackles coach Sione Po’uha. Utah defensive line coach Lewis Powell was his primary recruiter. Viliami verbally committed to the Utes on June 8, 2020. Po’uha received offers from UNLV and Washington State.

During the 2020 season, Po’uha had 55 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 8 sacks and a fumble recovery.

Cole Bishop, OLB/S

Bishop is a three-star outside linebacker/safety from Starrs Mill High School in Fayetteville, Georgia. The 6’3, 200 lbs. Defender is the No. 59 prospect in the state of Georgia and is the No. 41 outside linebacker in the country according to 247Sports.

He will play safety for the Utes.

Bishop verbally committed to Utah on October 31, 2020. He received offers from Duke, Air Force, Appalachian State, Boston College, Buffalo, Coastal Carolina, Dartmouth, FIU, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Liberty, Michigan State, Samford, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Virginia.

Simote Pepa, DT

Pepa is a three-star prospect from the 2019 class and will return to the beehive state and sign with the Utes after serving a church mission. In 2019, Pepa was the No. 3 recruit in the state of Utah and the 43rd ranked defensive tackle in the country.

The 6’3, 320 lbs. defensive tackle played at Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah.

In 2019, Pepa received offers from Wisconsin, Air Force, Arizona, BYU, Navy, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Washington.

Ethan Calvert, ILB

Calvert is a four-star prospect from Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, California. The 6’3, 230 lbs. linebacker is the No. 6 ranked recruit in the state of California, No. 4 rated inside linebacker in the nation and the No. 74 overall prospect in the country.

Calvert is the third-highest rated recruit in Utah football history. Only Clark Phillips III (2020) and James Aiono (2009) are ranked higher than Calvert. Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley was Calvert’s primary recruiter with linebacker coach Colton Swan as the secondary recruiter.

The Westlake Village, California native is a member of the Under Armour All-American game roster and a member of the Polynesian Bowl roster. Calvert verbally committed to Utah on November 12, 2020.

Other than Utah, Calvert received scholarship offers from Arizona, Boise State, BYU, California, Colorado, Dartmouth, Duke, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oregon, San Diego State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington and Washington State.

Jonny Fanaika, DE

Fanaika is a return missionary that will join the Utes in 2020. In 2018, Fanaika was a three-star defensive end from Pleasant Grove High School in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He was the No. 28 recruit in the state of Utah and No. 113 weak side defensive end in the nation.

The legacy recruit received offers from BYU and Utah State.

Velltray Jefferson, ATH

Jefferson is a three-star recruit from Edison High School in Fresno, California. The 6’4, 230 lbs. Athlete is the No. 53 athlete in the country and the 66th ranked recruit in the state of California.

Jefferson verbally committed to Utah on September 26, 2020. Utah running backs coach Kiel McDonald was his primary recruiter with linebackers coach Colton Swan as the secondary.

The Fresno, California native received scholarship offers from USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Fresno State, Liberty, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Arizona, San Jose State, Tennessee, Washington and Washington State.

Ricky Parks, RB

Parks is a three-star prospect from Gaither High School in Tampa, Florida. The 5’10, 192 lbs. running back is the No. 18 running back in the country and the 58th ranked prospect in the state of Florida. Parks is a two-sport athlete, competing in track in high school.

Parks announced his verbal commitment to Utah on June 28, 2020. His primary recruiter was Utah running backs coach Kiel McDonald.

The Tampa, Florida native received scholarship offers from Central Michigan, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, South Carolina, UCF, USF, Virginia and West Virginia.

David Fotu, DT

Fotu is a three-star JUCO transfer from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. The 6’4, 299 lbs. defensive tackle is the No. 2 JUCO recruit in the state of Utah, the fifth ranked DT in junior college and the No. 12 overall JUCO prospect in the country.

In 2019, Fotu had 17 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks for the Badgers. Utah defensive line coach Lewis Powell was Fotu’s primary recruiter with defensive tackles coach Sione Po’uha as the secondary recruiter. The Herriman, Utah native verbally committed to Utah on April 8, 2020.

Trey Reynolds, ILB

Reynolds is an inside linebacker from Queen Creek, Arizona. The 6’2, 235 lbs.linebacker is a three-star prospect that is ranked No. 11 in the state of Arizona and the 32nd rated inside linebacker in the country.

The Queen Creek, Arizona native verbally committed to the Utes on May 5, 2020. Utah linebackers coach Colton Swan was the primary recruiter.

Other than Utah, Reynolds received scholarship offers from Air Force, Arizona, Boise State, BYU, Colorado, Duke, Fresno State, Illinois, Kansas State, Northern Arizona, Oklahoma State, Oregon, San Diego State, UCLA, UNLV, Utah State, Virginia, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin and Yale.

Zereoue Williams, OT

Williams is a three-star prospect from Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Williams is the No. 12 recruit in the state of Arizona and the No. 67 offensive tackle in the nation. The 6’8, 248 lbs. Lineman also played basketball in high school.

Williams verbally committed to Utah on November 2, 2020. His primary recruiter was Utah offensive line coach Jim Harding.

The Phoenix, Arizona native received offers from Arizona State, Boston College, Florida State, Iowa State, Missouri, Northern Arizona, Oregon State and Tennessee.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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