When a major program loses a key recruit, Rivals.com takes a look at how big of a blow it is to the respective school, analyzing it from a local and national level. To quantify the “sting” of each decommitment, we assign a score from one to 10, with one being no big deal and 10 being a catastrophic hit.
Utah is one of the best programs nationally at developing defensive linemen and the Vicksburg, Miss., standout also loved the surroundings outside the football program when it came to the Salt Lake City area.
It looked like coach Kyle Whittingham and his staff landed a major steal in Bryant, who’s rated as the sixth-best prospect in the Mississippi state rankings.
However, just about two months later, Bryant is back on the market after backing off his Utah pledge. New offers from Oregon and USC came recently. Mississippi State remains a contender and new programs are showing interest all the time.
“The decommitment of Caleb Bryant was anticipated, despite his commitment announcement where he said he was ‘1000 percent committed,’ to Utah. Is it a loss for Utah? Of course, because he’s a rising four-star recruit with some of the top programs hot after him. Does it hurt Utah? Not at all.
“Defensive tackle is an annual position of strength at Utah. There are plenty of years that Utah’s second-string defensive tackles could start at several top Power Five programs. Their most successful defensive tackles rarely come to Utah already playing that position. They’re usually high school linebackers or defensive ends that maintain their quickness and athleticism and pack on weight.
“So yes, Bryant could become a dominant force in college, but doesn’t fit Utah’s well-known recipe for success at the position.” – Alex Markham, UteNation.com
Sting factor: 6
“In Kyle Whittingham, we trust. Which means that Bryant would have been a very welcomed addition to the Utah defensive line where players get developed into absolutely unstoppable machines and NFL prospects all the time. But if the four-star feels his assets will be better utilized somewhere else in the Pac-12 or possibly staying closer to home in the Southeast, then that’s the choice he made.
“Utah will be fine. The Utes do such a phenomenal job of getting players that fit their system and style, get them to completely buy-in and then quite honestly, a lot of times they take talented but not elite high school players and morph them into monsters across the defensive line.
“Bryant would have been a good addition because of his ability to move, get off blocks and make plays in the backfield but Utah will be just fine without him, too.” – Adam Gorney, National Recruiting Director
Sting factor: 5