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Ute Football Announces 2010 Recruits

Coach Kyle Whittingham spoke to the media about his 2010 class on Wednesday.

Coach Kyle Whittingham spoke to the media about his 2010 class on Wednesday.

Feb. 3, 2010


Coach Whittingham Text Quotes from Press Conference

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Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham received 19 signed National Letters of Intent today, to bring his 2010 recruiting class to 24. Five players signed financial tenders in January and are already enrolled in school.

Utah's latest recruiting class includes 20 high school players and four junior college transfers. The offense and defense each picked up 12 newcomers, with the potential for a couple of two-way players.

Utah's big recruiting push in Texas paid off as the Utes snagged eight players from the Lone Star state. The Utes also signed eight players from California, seven from Utah and one from Hawaii.

"We had good production in Texas this year, signing eight quality players," said Whittingham. "Our heavy emphasis there is really starting to pay dividends. We also fared well in our traditionally strong recruiting territories-Utah, California and Hawaii. It seems as though the number of Division I players in Utah increases every year and we make every effort to properly evaluate all of the instate talent."

The positions gaining the most players with the 2010 class were the defensive secondary (5) and the defensive line (4). Utah also signed three linebackers, three offensive linemen, three receivers, two quarterbacks, two running backs and two tight ends.

"While we did well in filling needs at specific positions, our primary emphasis has always been to recruit the best athletes possible, regardless of position," said Whittingham.

The Utes maintained some strong family ties by signing Joe Kruger of Orem, Utah (Pleasant Grove HS). Kruger's brother Dave started at defensive tackle as a Ute freshman last year, and older brother Paul was a 2008 all-conference defensive end for Utah who now plays for the Baltimore Ravens.

Five members of the 2010 class are already on campus, among them two mid-year junior college transfers, two returned LDS missionaries and an early freshman enrollee. Defensive lineman James Aiono, who originally signed last year, enrolled in January after completing his academic requirements. Offensive lineman Ron Tongaonevai is a mid-year junior college transfer. Defensive back Mike Honeycutt and tight end Westlee Tonga--both members of the 2007 signing class out of high school--have returned from church missions. Defensive back Damian Payne graduated from high school early and is already taking classes at the U.

NamePos.Hgt.Wgt.Yr.Exp.Hometown/Last School
James Aiono DL 6-4305 Jr. JCWest Valley City, Utah/Snow College
Dres Anderson WR6-1157 Fr. HSRiverside, Calif./JW North HS
Brian BlechenQB6-2203Fr.HSMoorpark, Calif./Moorpark HS
Zach BoltonOL6-2271Fr. HSHouston, Texas/Klein Forest HS
Princeton Collins RB5-11198 Fr. HS Austin, Texas/Westwood HS
John Cullen OL6-5270 Jr.JCLa Mirada, Calif./Fullerton College
V.J. FehokoLB6-0222 Fr.HS Honolulu, Hawaii/Farrington HS
Wykie FreemanDB5-11158 Fr. HSPasadena, Texas/Pasadena Memorial HS
Jacoby HaleLB6-0192 Fr.HSBeaumont, Texas/Beaumont Central HS
Mike HoneycuttDB5-10180Fr.HSCedar Hills, Utah/Lone Peak HS
Joe Kruger DE6-7245 Fr. HS Orem, Utah/Pleasant Grove HS
Ofa Latu LB6-1210 Fr.HSProvo, Utah/Timpview HS
Star LotuleleiDL6-4300 So.JCSouth Jordan, Utah/Snow College
Damian Payne DB6-0200 Fr.HSHouston, Texas/Klein Forest HS
Lucky Radley RB5-9187Fr.HSWoodland Hills, Calif./Taft HS
Terrell Reese WR6-0198Fr.HSChappell Hill, Texas/Brenham HS
Kenneth Scott WR6-3192Fr.HSFontana, Calif./Colony HS
Tyler Shreve QB6-3218Fr.HSHighland, Calif./Redlands East Valley HS
Joseph Smith DB5-9179Fr.HSCorona, Calif./Norco HS
Sefa Tanoai TE/DE6-3275Fr.HSPleasant Grove, Utah/Pleasant Grove HS
Westlee Tonga TE6-4235Fr.HSSpring, Texas/Spring HS
Ron TongaonevaiOL 6-3345So.JCWest Valley City, Utah/Snow College
Sione Tupouata ATH/DL6-4260Fr.HSOakland, Calif./Fremont HS
Michael Walker DB5-9171Fr.HSBrenham, Texas/Brenham HS


James Aiono
Defensive Line
6-4, 305, Jr.
West Valley City, Utah
Snow College

Enrolled in school in January and will participate in spring ball ... rated the No. 1 junior college recruit in the nation in 2008 by Rivals.com ... 2008 first-team All-American for Snow College ... Western States Football League 2008 Defensive MVP and first-team all-conference defensive lineman ... 2007 second-team All-American and first-team all-WSFL ... led Snow to the WSFL title both years ... initially signed out of high school with the Utes in 2007 ... first-team all-state and all-region as a senior at Murray High School (Utah) in 2006 ... won four letters in football ... rated the fourth-best prospect in the state by Scout.com coming out of high school ... son of Ta'aloga and Ali'itasi Aiono ... youngest of five children ... last name is pronounced eye-oh-no ... full name is James Pelenise Aiono ... born Jan. 23, 1989 in Anaheim, Calif.

Dres Anderson
Wide Receiver
6-1, 157, Fr.
Riverside, Calif.
John W. North HS

All-conference ... lettered three years in football and one year in basketball for John W. North High School in Riverside, Calif. ... as a junior in 2008, he made 29 catches for 607 yards and 6 touchdowns for the CIF Division II football champs ... played in six games in 2009 with 11 catches for 112 yards ... made the Principal's honor roll ... son of Willie "Flipper" and Lolita Anderson ... father played receiver in the NFL for 10 years (1988-97) for the Broncos, Redskins, Indianapolis Colts and L.A. Rams after his college career at UCLA ... uncle Paco Craig played a year in the NFL for Detroit ... two brothers and two sisters ... first name is pronounced drezz ... born July 20, 1992.

Brian Blechen
6-2, 203, Fr.
Moorpark, Calif.
Moorpark HS

All-CIF and all-Marmonte League utility player ... quarterback also punted and had the best punt average in school history, as well as the longest punt ... Moorpark High School (Calif.) was a two-time CIF finalist ... team also won back-back Marmonte League championships in 2008-09 ... lettered four years in football, two years in track and one year in swimming and basketball ... son of Bob and Marta Blechen ... grandfather (Bob Blechen) played organized football until he was 64 years old ... two brothers ... enjoys snowboarding ... last name is pronounced bleckin ... born Sept. 30, 1991.

Zach Bolton
Offensive Line
6-2, 271, Fr.
Houston, Texas
Klein Forest HS

No. 21-ranked offensive guard in the country by Rivals.com ... two-time first-team all-district ... first-team all-Greater Houston ... Klein Forest High School Offensive Lineman of the Year ... earned three letters in football ... son of L.B. Bolton and Angeline Hubbard ... full name is Zachary Dominique Bolton ... born Aug. 28, 1992.

Princeton Collins
Running Back
5-11, 198, Fr.
Austin, Texas
Westwood HS

Honorable mention all-state in 2009 ... 16-5A MVP ... first-team all-district as a junior and senior ... second-team all-district his sophomore year ... gained over 1,000 yards all three seasons he played for Westwood High School (Texas) ... rushed for 1,500 yards and averaged 6.4 yards per carry in 2009 ... Westwood High's Offensive MVP ... son of Kimball and Tinia Collins ... enjoys drawing and dancing ... nickname is PC ... born Dec. 23, 1991.

John Cullen
Offensive Line
6-5, 270, Jr.
La Mirada, Calif.
Fullerton College

Rated the No. 1 JC offensive lineman by Rivals.com ... first-team all-conference and all-region in 2009 ... second-team all-conference in 2008 ... Fullerton College Offensive MVP ... Fullerton's Freshman Player of the Year in 2008 ... team captain ... Fullerton won the Southern Conference and a bowl game both his years there ... prepped at La Mirada High School (Calif.) ... first-team all-area by the Whittier Daily News ... two-time second-team all-Suburban League ... won La Mirada High's Ironman award ... earned three letters in football and two in track ... Suburban League shot put champion ... son of Tom and Marnie Cullen ... father played football for Cerritos College ... one sister ... full name is John Wayne Cullen ... born May 16, 1990.

V.J. Fehoko
6-0, 222, Fr.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Farrington HS

U.S. Army, Nike and Under Armour All-American ... ESPN top 150 and Sporting News top 100 ... Wendy's High School Heisman for Hawaii in 2009 ... Hawaii Athlete of the Year (ISM) ... three-time first-team all-state pick by the Honolulu Advertiser ... also first-team all-conference in 2007, 2008, 2009 ... had 30.5 sacks, 86 tackles and 18 TFL as a senior in 2009 ... three-year prep career totals of 62 sacks, 222 tackles and 36 TFL ... U.S. Army Bowl ball award for "Hardest Hitter in the Nation" ... all-Poly Camp Defensive Award in 2008 and 2009 ... Just Win Camp Defensive MVP from 2007-09 ... named Best Lineman at 2007 and 2008 BYU football camps ... on the honor roll from 2007-2010 ... won a state foreign language award ... son of Vili and Linda Fehoko ... father is a famous personality in Hawaii ("Vili the Warrior") ... three brothers ... brother Whitley played for San Diego State, starting as a true freshman offensive lineman ... brother Sam is a linebacker for Texas Tech ... last name is pronounced fay-ho-ko ... full name is Vili-Andrew E. Fehoko... born Aug. 5, 1991. br>

Wykie Freeman
Defensive Back
5-11, 158, Fr.
Pasadena, Texas
Pasadena Memorial HS

Unanimous 22-5A first-team all-district team ... recorded six interceptions in two years at Pasadena Memorial High (Texas) ... earned three letters in football and track ... runs the 100 meters in 10.6 seconds ... son of Winston and Kesha Calloway ... three brothers and a half brother ... name is pronounced y-kee ... full name is Wykie Daldnie Freeman ... born Jan. 27, 1992 in Atlanta.

Jacoby Hale
6-0, 192, Fr.
Beaumont, Texas
Beaumont Central HS

Honorable mention all-state ... District 21-4A Defensive MVP ... first-team 21-4A all-district ... had 131 tackles as a senior in 2009 ... graduated Cum Laude from Beaumont Central High (Texas) ... won Central High's Presidential Award ... son of Carl Hale and the late Donna May Hale ... stepmother Dajuana Hale ... one brother and two sisters ... enjoys reading ... name is pronounced ja-CO-bee ... full name is Jacoby Dwayne Hale ... born Apr. 21, 1992.

Mike Honeycutt
Defensive Back
5-10, 180, Fr.
Cedar Hills, Utah
Lone Peak HS

Originally signed with Utah in 2007, then left on an LDS Church mission ... enrolled in school in January and will participate in spring ball ... first-team all-region and second-team all-state as a senior in 2006 ... played for Lone Peak High School's (Utah) 2004 and 2005 region champion teams ... Long Peak had the state's best defense from 2005-06 ... also lettered in track and baseball ... enjoys ping pong, bowling and drawing ... son of Tom and Janice Honeycutt ... mother is a Utah graduate ... one sister ... born Aug. 18, 1988 in Renton, Wash.

Joe Kruger
Defensive End
6-7, 245, Fr.
Orem, Utah
Pleasant Grove HS

First-team all-state and all-conference as a senior in 2009 ... ranked in the nation's top 25 defensive ends by Rivals.com ... led the state in sacks (15) and had 51 tackles his senior season ... lettered four years in football and basketball ... son of Paul and Jennifer Kruger ... father played football for Oregon State ... three brothers and two sisters ... brother Paul plays for the Baltimore Ravens and was an all-conference defensive end for Utah in 2008 ... brother Dave is a Ute sophomore defensive tackle ... brother-in-law Tony Bergstrom is a Ute offensive lineman ... enjoys snowboarding, wakeboarding, hunting and fishing ... full name is Jonathan Wells Kruger ... born June 4, 1992.

Ofa Latu
6-1, 210, Fr.
Provo, Utah
Timpview HS

Deseret News 4A MVP ... 2009 Salt Lake Tribune first-team all-state ... Daily Herald 2009 Utah Valley Player of the Year ... honorable mention all-state as a junior ... won three state championships with Timpview High (2007, 2008, 2009) ... earned three letters ... plans to serve an LDS Church mission before enrolling at Utah ... son of Fonua and Mino Latu ... two brothers and two sisters ... name is pronounced oh-fa La-too ... born Apr. 9, 1991 in Maui.

Star Lotulelei
Defensive Line
6-4, 300, So.
South Jordan, Utah
Snow College

Has three years of eligibility ... played for Snow College in 2008 ... prepped at Bingham High (Utah), where he was first-team all-state by both the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News ... 72 tackles and seven sacks as a senior in 2007 ... Bingham went 14-0 and won the state title ... son of Star Lotulelei, Sr. ... married (Fuiva) ... baby girl Arilani ... full name is Starlite Lotulelei ... last name is pronounced lo-too-leh-lay ... born in Tonga.

Damian Payne
Defensive Back
6-0, 200, Fr.
Houston, Texas
Klein Forest HS

Graduated from high school early and enrolled at Utah in January ... will participate in spring ball ... first-team 13-5A all-district last fall ... third-team all-state ... Klein High (Texas) team captain ... all-purpose player threw for a touchdown, ran for three TDs, caught four touchdown receptions, had three interceptions and returned a punt for a touchdown in his senior year ... earned four letters in football ... son of Kenneth Payne and Angela Williams ... father played football for Pitt ... mother rank track for Prairie View A&M ... two brothers ... brother Kendrick plays for Cal ... uncle Harvey Williams had an eight-year NFL career (1991-98) with the Chiefs and Raiders ... other relatives who had NFL careers included Gerald and Grant Irons ... full name is Damian Le Marque Payne ... born May 30, 1992.

Lucky Radley
Running Back
5-9, 187, Fr.
Woodland Hills, Calif.
Taft HS

All-state, all-CIF and all-L.A. Daily News three years ... also all-league ... as a sophomore linebacker, he had 126 tackles, nine sacks and five interceptions ... 1,200 rushing yards, 66 tackles, 12 sacks and two interceptions as a junior ... in eight games as a senior in 2009, he had 1,500 all-purpose yards, 12 touchdowns and 62 tackles ... played in the 2007 state championship game ... lettered four years in football and track and two years in basketball ... Scholar-Athlete as a sophomore ... son of Brenda Radley ... mother ran track for Long Beach State ... two brothers and two sisters ... relatives Curtis Conway (12 years) and Jason Mitchell (1 year) played in the NFL ... full name is Breion Radley ... born Sept. 30, 1991.

Terrell Reese
Wide Receiver
6-0, 198, Fr.
Chappell Hill, Texas
Brenham HS

Honorable mention all-state ... first-team 18-4A all-district ... Brenham High (Texas) team captain ... Rivals.com rates him as the nation's 28th-best receiver ... 72 catches for 915 yards and 15 touchdowns his senior year ... led Brenham to the 4A state title game ... earned three letters in football and basketball ... 2009 18-4A basketball offensive MVP ... son of Tracey Reese and Jaqueline King ... one brother and one sister ... enjoys fishing and snowmobiling ... name is pronounced terr-ELL ... full name is Terrell Brendell Reese ... born Aug. 30, 1992.

Kenneth Scott
Wide Receiver
6-3, 192, Fr.
Fontana, Calif.
Colony HS

First-team all-league ... all-conference and all-state ... career offensive stats include 90 receptions for 1,704 yards and 15 touchdowns ... career defensive stats include 40 tackles, four interceptions, four pass breakups and two forced fumbles ... caught 31 passes for 655 yards and 5 TDs as a senior ... Colony High (Calif.) won back-to-back C.I.F. championships in 2007 and 2008 ... won four letters in football, two in track and one in basketball ... named Colony High Student of the Month twice ... son of Theo Bland and Latricia Banks-Bland ... father played football for Fresno State ... two brothers and one sister ... related to Kitrick Taylor, who played in the NFL six years for Denver, Green Bay, San Diego, New England and Kansas City ... full name is Kenneth Wayne Scott ... born Sept. 19, 1992 in Galveston, Texas.

Tyler Shreve
6-3, 218, Fr.
Highland, Calif.
Redlands East Valley HS

Three-time all-league ... all-C.I.F. twice ... Redlands East Valley High team captain two years ... played for league championship football teams as a sophomore and senior ... earned three letters in football and three in baseball ... 2009 All-America baseball player ... baseball won 2007 league title ... son of Tony and Linda Shreve ... father played football for San Francisco State ... mother was a cheerleader for the University of Redlands ... two brothers and one sister ... enjoys playing golf ... born Sept. 15, 1991.

Joseph Smith
Defensive Back
5-9, 179, Fr.
Corona, Calif.
Norco HS

Made the all-league team three times, including once as a first-team selection and twice on the second team ... Norco High (Calif.) co-captain ... Norco was the 2006 C.I.F. and league champion ... won three letters in football ... son of Joseph Smith and Samantha Haskins ... two sisters ... enjoys snowmobiling ... full name is Joseph Jvon Smith ... born Dec. 11, 1991 in El Paso, Texas.

Sefa Tanoai
Tight End/Defensive End
6-3, 275, Fr.
Pleasant Grove, Utah
Pleasant Grove HS

All-region ... captain for Pleasant Grove High's (Utah) football and basketball teams ... Pleasant Grove made the state semi-finals two of his three years on varsity ... started for the varsity basketball team all four years ... plans to serve an LDS Church mission before enrolling at Utah ... son of George and Maelynn Tanoai ... two sisters and one brother ... name is pronounced seffa tah-no-ah-ee ... full name is Josefa Savea Tanoai ... born Jan. 1, 1992.

Westlee Tonga
Tight End
6-4, 235, Fr.
Spring, Texas
Spring HS

Originally signed with Utah in 2007, then left for an LDS Church mission ... enrolled in classes in January and will participate in spring ball ... second-team all-district as a senior in 2006 ... Spring High School (Texas) team captain ... won three letters in football, two in track and one in basketball ... son of Kathy Barney and Lee Tonga ... two sisters and one brother ... brother-in-law Reno Mahe played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2003-07 ... name is pronounced wesley tawn-ga ... born July 29, 1988.

Ron Tongaonevai
Offensive Line
6-3, 345, So.
West Valley City, Utah
Snow College

Mid-year JC transfer enrolled in classes in January and will participate in spring ball ... has three years of eligibility ... all-region OL for Snow College ... Snow won the 2008 WSFL championship and played in the NJCAA national championship game (2008 Top of the Mountain Bowl) ... prepped at Hunter High (Utah) ... two-time all-state and three-time all-region ... two-year Hunter team captain set a school record for most games started ... Hunter won the Utah 5A state championship in 2003 and 2004 ... played on both the offensive and defensive lines ... earned three letters in football and two in track and field ... son of the late Ron Folaumoetao Tongaonevai, Sr., and Rowena Drivinna Tauteoli ... three brothers and three sisters ... Polynesian Club president at Snow College ... made Hunter High honor roll ... enjoys playing rugby ... related to former NFL player Vai Sikahema ...last name is pronounced tong-a-oh-nay-vy ... full name is Ron Folaumoetao Tongaonevai, Jr. ... born Dec. 17, 1985.

Sione Tupouata
Athlete/Defensive Line
6-4, 260, Fr.
Oakland, Calif.
Fremont HS

Conference MVP in 2009 and Oakland Athletic League's Defensive MVP in 2008 ... first-team all-East Bay in 2008 and 2009 ... rushed for 380 yards and two touchdowns in the league championship game ... led Fremont High (Calif.) to the 2009 OAL Silver Bowl Championship ... Fremont High also won the conference title ... son of Naisa and Liliani Tupouata ... two sisters ... name is pronounced see-on-nay too-po-ah-tah ... full name is Sione Otusia Tupouata ... born May 2, 1991.

Michael Walker
Defensive Back
5-9, 171, Fr.
Brenham, Texas
Brenham HS

2009 District 18 4A Defensive Player of the Year ... 2008 District 18 4A Newcomer of the Year ... 2009 all-valley ... linebacker also played running back ... 130 tackles with 38 TFL as a senior ... Brenham High (Texas) played in the 2009 state championship game ... son of Michael Anderson and Lashundra Walker ... one brother and two sisters ... cousin Limas Sweed plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers ... enjoys riding horses and owns a Tennessee Walker ... full name is Michael Charles Walker ... born May 15, 1992.



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