The top recruits to watch in Utah high school football this season

The high school football season has started again in Utah, and Thursday night is set to kick off before a series of games take place on Friday.

One of the reasons for monitoring is to track the performances of top players who are recruited to play together at the Division I level. Here are the top 10 prospects to watch in the 2023 class (seniors) as ranked by 247 Sports.

Tausili Akana, Edge Rusher, Skyridge

6-foot-4, 225 pounds

National player rank: 34

★★★★

As a top 35 prospect nationwide (only 15 have a 5-star rating), Akana hosts scholarship opportunities from across the country, but according to 247, Texas, LSU, and Oklahoma in particular, top the list for its engagement.

According to the Deseret News statistical database, Akana had 63 tackles and 13 sacks last year.

Spencer Fano, offensive tackle, Timpview

6 foot 5, 270 pounds

National player rank: 53

★★★★

Just outside the country’s top 50 prospects, according to 247, Fano also has a slew of offers from across the nation, with Utah, BYU, Miami, Michigan and Oregon earning 247’s “Warm” designation.

Hunter Clegg, Edge Rusher, American Fork

6-foot-4, 235 pounds

National player rank: 151

★★★★

Clegg, the final prospective Utah player to appear on the 247 list of the nation’s top 300 candidates, announced on July 18 that he had committed to playing together for Stanford.

Smith Snowden, cornerback, Skyridge

5-foot-9, 173 pounds

★★★★

The Speedster features double-digit offerings from Power Five programs and a whole host more from Group of Five schools, with Colorado, Northwestern, Utah, BYU, Stanford and Washington State earning the Warm designation out of 247.

Tevita Pome’e, Defense Attorney, Layton Christian

6-foot-3, 315 pounds

★★★

It’s not often that a player from a small school gets on the radar of a big college program, but Pome’e pulled through and signed for Oregon in April.

Taliafi Taala, offensive tackle, Alta

6 feet 5, 295 pounds

★★★

Taala is nearing double-digit bids, eight of which are from Power Five programs (including BYU) and the ninth from the state of Utah. Arizona, Michigan State, and Oregon State have a “warm” designation of 247.

Pokaiaua Haunga, Athlete, Timpview

5-foot-11, 200 pounds

★★★

Haunga, the top Utah player who is already committed to a state school, announced his promise to BYU back in January of last year.

Siale Esera, Edge Rusher, Timpview

6-foot-3, 240 pounds

★★★

247 points out that Esera tends to get involved at some point at BYU and doesn’t point out other schools that may be fighting hard for him, even though he has over 15 offerings from Power Five programs.

Mateaki Helu, athlete, Tooele

6 feet, 200 pounds

★★★

Like Haunga with BYU, Helu has a long-term commitment to Utah — barring a very brief lapse due to a misunderstanding — having signed to the Utes almost exactly a year ago.

Jr. Sia, offensive tackle, Mountain Ridge

6-foot-6, 308 pounds

★★★

Sia only has four scholarship offers, according to 247, but three of those — Nebraska, Utah and Virginia — are from Power Five programs, the other from the state of Utah. Nebraska and the state of Utah have had the Warm designation since 247.

Other dedicated players to keep an eye on

Here are the top non-top 10 players out of 247 in the state who have already committed to a school, listed in order of their ranking to 247.

  • Cade Uluave (11), linebacker, Mountain Ridge—Cal.
  • Miles Hall (13), Athlete, Skyline – BYU.
  • Matthew Fredrick (14), tight end, East – BYU.
  • McCae Hillstead (15), Quarterback, Skyridge – Utah State.
  • Isaac Terrell (16), Edge Rusher, Lehi – Washington State.
  • Ryder Burton (17), quarterback, Springville-BYU.
  • Owen Borg, linebacker (20), Corner Canyon – BYU.
  • Hezekiah Anahu-Ambrosio (22), Athlete, Timpview – Nevada.
  • Jackson Brousseau (25), Quarterback, Lehi – Colorado State.
  • Jackson Olsen (27), wide receiver, Ridgeline – Utah State.
  • Amini Amone (31), running back, East – Nevada.

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