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In some years, it would take two or three Utah recruits to stack five stars together.
But the Utes got their biggest commitment so far on Monday, when top-rated junior college recruit Garett Bolles of Snow College announced he had picked the Utes.
Rated five stars by Scout and four stars by Rivals, the one-time Westlake product is a 6-foot-5, 305-pound tackle who was recruited by just about every major football program. Snow College coach Britt Maughan said he got the attention for good reason: It's rare to see a recruit with Bolles' size possess his level of athleticism and aggressiveness, traits that helped the Badgers run for 2,033 yards in 11 games this year.
Bolles was a first-team All American for Snow this year, but Maughan sees much bigger things in his future.
"I think he's only going to get better," he said. "He's going to be one of the best O-linemen ever from the state of Utah. The skill set he possesses could allow him to be a first-round draft pick as long as he keeps working."
When dissecting how Utah got one of its most heralded commits in the last decade, it's odd to say what might've been the deciding factor: stability on the offensive coaching staff.
That's not something said of Utah very often, especially at offensive coordinator where the Utes have had eight offensive coordinator configurations in the last nine years. But with Jim Harding and Aaron Roderick seemingly set in place, Utah looked rock solid compared to their chief competitors. Maughan said he thought Arkansas, Georgia, BYU and Arizona State recruited Bolles the hardest outside of the Utes all four had significant offensive coaching turnover, if not completely new head coaches.
"I think it was the overall level of comfort with the staff there," Maughan said. "There wasn't a lot of turnover or miscommunication with what was going on. He was talking to the same guys every day."
How much does one commitment sway a class? Utah's group jumped up to No. 46 on Scout team rankings, and No. 30 on Rivals.
Maughan said high school transfers and poor test scores sent him on the junior college route (he was also arrested for vandalizing the Lehi football field during a rivalry week prank gone a bit too far). But a lot has changed since Bolles played at Westlake: He went on an LDS Church mission, grew taller and larger, and he got married.
"He's gotten a lot more mature," Maughan said. "He always did a great job leading for us by example, and he did his job to the best of his ability on and off the field. It really helped guys around him elevate their level of play."
Bolles offers an immediate answer at tackle, where the Utes rotated Sam Tevi and Jackson Barton last year. He's expected to enhance Utah's overall front, which is expected to return all-conference honoree J.J. Dielman at tackle.
This is Utah's second commitment of the month, following another offensive prospect from Utah County in Timpview receiver Samson Nacua.
Stay tuned for more on Bolles' commitment.