With only five prospects in the 2017 class committed, Utah is bringing up the rear in recruiting for this cycle in the Pac-12. Utah currently holds pledges from two three-stars, a pair of two-stars and one unranked prospect, all combining for the No. 119 class in the country according to 247Sports.com.
That said, the Utes clearly have a hefty amount of scholarships to fill and are working feverishly to land recruits and pull in a balanced 2017 class. In pursuit of that goal, Utah hosted a number of talented players, including three-star cornerback Darren Hall, on official visits for its narrow 20-19 victory over BYU in week two.
“I loved it, I loved everything about the trip,” Hall told Scout.com. “From the hotel we stayed at, to the game and the overall atmosphere there, to meeting the players and being around the coaches again, I loved everything about it.”
Hall, who holds 11 offers to date, has seen the Utah campus before, so this visit was more about taking in a game day atmosphere and bonding with several other prospects who were on campus as well since it was his first official.
“I took an unofficial visit there over the summer so I had already seen the great facilities and was familiar with the campus. This trip was so much better because I was able to watch a game, be around some of the my guys who visited with me and the amount of food we ate was crazy.”
As a prospect hailing from Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) High School, Hall is looking at several schools in the PAC-12, like Utah. To go with the Utes, Hall is looking to officially visit Colorado, Washington State, Colorado State and Nevada. These trips are prime opportunities to show recruits what it would be like to play at each respective location, and Hall nearly bought into what Utah was selling during his time on campus.
“I’ll be honest, I was tempted to commit a few times,” Hall said. “I had great meetings with the coaches, Coach [Sharrieff] Shah and Coach [Kyle] Whittingham but I know I need to see a few more schools since this was my first visit. I want to have something to compare Utah with, so I need to take my other trips and see what they have to offer but Utah is great and I really fit in well there.”
With one official visit under his belt, Hall now has a benchmark that he can use to evaluate his next four officials. This is the first step in figuring out his college location, a decision that may come with an announcement shortly after the high school football season.
“I would like to set those visits during the season so I can experience the whole game atmosphere, and then once I’m done with the trips I’ll sit back with my family, evaluate everyone and make my decision,” Hall said.
The 6-foot, 165-pound Hall checks in as the No. 88 cornerback in the country and a three-star prospect per 247Sports.com‘s rating scale. As a player with the ball skills and play recognition to fill in at either cornerback or safety, Hall presents the potential for flexibility with his future collegiate team.
Hall is a bit better playing forward instead of backpedaling or shuffling, so safety could be a logical location, especially since he is more than competent in run support.
These qualities make Hall an important pledge for whichever team lands him, but he may perhaps be most important to the Utah staff as the Utes strive to build a competitive class in the Pac-12 for the 2017 cycle.