Recruits buzzing about Utah after attending comeback win over USC

There were some outstanding atmospheres in college football on Saturday night, not much better than the environment at Utah as the 20th-ranked Utes rallied to knock off previously-undefeated No. 7 USC, 43-42 in a Pac 12 classic.

Quarterback Cameron Rising’s rushing touchdown on fourth down and then rushing two-point conversion completely erased a two-touchdown deficit and sent the Rice-Eccles Stadium crowd into a frenzy. The defense held on the final seconds erasing any chance of heroics from USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

Contributing to the noise was perhaps the best group of recruits ever at a game in the Kyle Whittingham era

“Man the atmosphere was crazy,” Mission Viejo (Calif.) receiver Mikey Matthews said, adding the Utes have set the bar in his recruitment. “The environment was phenomenal. The environment was electric and the fans were very passionate.”

Utah had 562 yards of total offense highlighted by Rising’s 415 through the air. He had five total touchdowns, two passing and three rushing.

“Loved the way the offense played,” Matthews continued. “Kept feeding the rock to the players with the hot hand.”

Nobody was hotter than tight end Dalton Kincaid who caught all 15 targets for 217 yards and a touchdown. The timing was strong on that performance as Utah brought in Top247 tight end Walker Lyons who is currently a verbal to Stanford.

“Honestly, it was the best college game day atmosphere I’ve ever been a part of,” Lyons said. “Utah brought the energy, and Dalton Kincaid man! Wow such a cool game being there with the guys.”

Many of the guys Lyons mentioned echoed the same thing as him and Matthews as Utah is in position if they land these top targets to finish with a Top 20 recruiting class.

“The atmosphere was awesome,” Provo (Utah) Timpview Top247 offensive lineman Spencer Fano said. “Especially those last two minutes. In those last two minutes I couldn’t help but join in on the screaming! The coaches at Utah and the culture they have built excite me the most!”

“The one word is electric!” Lehi (Utah) Skyridge four-star cornerback Smith Snowden said. “The environment was second to none, they did a great job hosting all the recruits today. The defense stands out to me so much especially having a lockdown corner like Clark Phillips who is ‘undersized’ in some people’s eyes. The reason that stands out to me a lot is because there are people who say and think the same about me. Coach (Morgan) Scalley does a great job with the calls and getting them boys ready.”

Other key 2023 prospects in attendance included the Fontana (Calif.) Summit two-way lineman Tawake Tuikolovatu and Wichita (Kan.) Heights four-star running back John Randle Jrswear Gilbert (Ariz.) Highland Top247 2023 offensive lineman Caleb Lomu.

Utah had a terrific group of 2024s and 2025s in for this one as well.

“Man Utah has a great environment,” Orem (Utah) High receiver to Roger Saleapa said. “A place I can see myself for sure playing at. It also helps with how much they utilize their tight ends. I want to play where I fit in the most and that helps a lot! All I feel is love from them and I love it.”

“The energy was crazy the whole time,” Chandler (Ariz.) Basha Top247 athlete Miles Lockhart said. “The fans were screaming and the band was playing the whole time from what it seemed. And after the game everyone rushed the field and it was just really cool to see the ‘underdogs’ take down SC. What excites me the most about the team is that they never back down from anyone and play their football.”

“The environment at Rice Eccles is always energetic and loud, but tonight was something special,” Magna (Utah) Cypress Top247 offensive lineman Isaiah Garcia said. “The entire stadium was roaring louder then I’ve ever heard it, especially at the end, the MUSS is something else!” Some things that excite me about Utah are the relationships I have with the coaches, staff, and players. They really treat me well and show me they’re highly interested in me as a recruit. Having the campus and facilities 20 minutes away from my home/family is awesome and something that definitely excites me. Another thing is that it feels like the team plays as one unit, rather than individuals. That type of family mentality is something that really sticks out to me. Utah’s academics are some of the best in the country which also really excites me!”

“It was crazy,” Burley (Idaho) Senior Top247 receiver Gatlin Bair said. “Super great atmosphere. Always great to see a sold out stadium. It’s great to see Utah win and definitely know they’ll continue too with Coach Whittingham. They took a lot of shots tonight and used the receivers a lot which is really exciting too!”

“It was amazing,” the Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame 2025 quarterback Wyatt Becker said. “Honestly you couldn’t have scripted a better game visit. My dad and I tailgated with Cameron Rising’s dad, Kincaid’s dad and Bishop’s dad for two hours before the game. It was great to see those three guys really ball out and have such a great game after spending time with their dads. The play-calling from the coaches was amazing. The fan base and the atmosphere in the stadium was insane. It was the highest attendance in stadium history. I was really impressed. What a day!”

Indeed, what a day for Utah football.

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