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August 16, 2012Utah landed its 14th commitment of the class of 2013 on Wednesday as Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) running back Salesi Eteaki pledged to sign with the Utes.
According to Eteaki, Utah is a school that has long been on his radar, so when the offer arrived, he was quick to take advantage. "I've always wanted to go to Utah," Eteaki said. "I've loved Utah ever since I was small. I've seen the games and I just love the way they play."
Eteaki's introduction to the Utes was mainly due to family members that have gone on to be Utah stars, such as Ma'ake and Chris Kemoeatu and Matt Asiata. However, it was the work of Utah assistant Aaron Roderick that convinced the 6-foot-1 inch, 210 pound playmaker that the Utes are a fit. "He's very convincing. He gets to the point. He made me want to go to Utah already. He's always telling me about the campus, and how I'd contribute to the team," he said.
Eteaki has been under-the-radar on the recruiting front thus far this season. After a strong early performance in his first two games as a junior, Eteaki broke his collar bone in week three and missed a majority of the season. In total, he rushed for 494 yards on only 60 carries (8.2 YPC) in limited action.
Before his injury, Eteaki was developing a reputation as one of California's best power runners, which the talented back expects to continue at the next level. "My biggest strengths would be my power and my speed. I always run through tackles. I never try and juke," he said.
With Utah's tradition of success with big power backs, Eteaki feels that he can be a strong contributor to the Utah offense. "From what I've heard, Utah's offense runs a lot, so that would be a good fit for me," he said.
In the meantime, Eteaki is working hard to prepare his body for his senior season, one that he has no intention of losing to injury. "Right now, I've been on it. I've been trying to make sure I have no injuries, so I'm working on every part of body so nothing goes wrong," he explained.