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Desert Pines offensive lineman Cedrick Poutasi picks Utah football

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Sam Morris

Desert Pines lineman Cedrick Poutasi is seen during practice Wednesday, May 11, 2011.

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Desert Pines High School football coach Paul Bennett and Jaguars senior offensive tackle Cedrick Poutasi pose for a picture at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, after Poutasi was named the top lineman Offense-Defense All-American Bowl. The 6-foot-6, 325 pound Poutasi also verbally committed to Utah during the game.

Desert Pines High School football coach Paul Bennett and Jaguars senior offensive tackle Cedrick Poutasi pose for a picture at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, after Poutasi was named the top lineman Offense-Defense All-American Bowl. The 6-foot-6, 325 pound Poutasi also verbally committed to Utah during the game.

Desert Pines High offensive lineman Cedrick Poutasi waited until Thursday night to verbally commit to the University of Utah football program, announcing his decision during the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

While the commitment became official Thursday, it’s pretty safe to say his decision was made during an October recruiting trip. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound tackle immediately was attracted to everything Utah had to offer, especially the fact he’d be playing alongside several others of Polynesian decent.

A consensus four-star prospect, he had offers from more than 20 schools. He also visited Arizona State, but cancelled the remainder of his visits after returning from Utah.

“I loved it up there. It’s the fans and the team bonding they have over there,” Poutasi said in October. “I love the coaches they have. They are energetic.”

Desert Pines coach Paul Bennett accompanied Poutasi to the showcase, proudly snapping photos with his cell phone. Desert Pines has sent seven to Division I football the last five years, which is a tremendous feat considering the low numbers in its program. Earlier in the year, defensive back Leon Hayes committed to UTEP.

Cowboys Stadium served as a perfect setting for the announcement. Poutasi was also awarded a trophy for being the lineman of the game.

“Man, it’s ridiculous in here,” Bennett said of the stadium. “It’s exciting to be here in this place with one of my guys. We’re doing good things at Desert Pines and this is a great reward.”

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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