Congratulations to Justin Utupo for winning Lineman of the Year by the LA Times! The 6’2″, 235 pound DE from Lakewood, California proved all year what a strong work habit and a perpetual motor will do for you. According to his coach, Thadd MacNeal, “Justin was the heart and soul of our defense and he made all the little plays he was supposed to make and then he made the Notre Dame-type plays.” We, that is all of us who sit at home and judge recruits off of an oft’-flawed star-rating system, tend to place the “Justins” of our class on the back burner, usually forgetting and quite often referring to them as a star and not as an individual talent like they should be. Well Mr. Utupo’s not going down quietly and he deserves praise by muchisima gente’–or many people. This class has the feel of a ‘diamond in the rough’ type of class, but Justin is already gleaming bright!