A flurry of Utah recruiting news hit Monday.

First the good: American Fork offensive lineman James Empey announced he has committed to Utah. Empey held offers from BYU, Boise State, Oregon State, Utah State, Washington and Washington State, among others.

Utah’s offensive line coach Jim Harding and director of player personnel Fred Whittingham Jr. both tweeted out hints to the news, with references to Empey being a “hometown Ute.” That phrase seems to be getting more and more rare, highlighted by the fact that Brighton's Osa Masina and Corner Canyon's Branden Bowen left the state for greener pastures.

Utah, though, appears to still be in the fight for another top local prospect: Salem Hills’ linebacker Porter Gustin. The Gustins hosted Utah safeties coach Morgan Scalley in an in-home visit, and Porter is taking an official visit to Utah Wednesday.

In a recent phone interview with the Deseret News, Gustin’s father, John Gustin, said that Porter had not yet ruled Utah out, but John Gustin noted that his son did have a good relationship with former Utah defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake.

Gustin took a trip to Arizona State this past weekend and has a visit planned to Ohio State for this coming weekend.

It hasn’t been all good news for Utah on the recruiting front. On Monday morning long time WR commit Chris Barr out of Florida announced he has flipped from Utah to South Florida.

Barr’s decommittment comes the day after Texas athlete Michael Jacquet flipped from Utah to Louisiana-Lafeyette.

It is common for players to back off of commitments at this time of year. It’s good to remember that these choices are not just the player’s decision, but also the school’s. Coaches often recruit over a prospect, causing a player to “decommit,” while sometimes the recruit just chooses a different path.

Other links:

— In other recruiting news, five-star recruit Soso Jamabo from Plano, Texas, announced that he had narrowed his choices down to the University of Phoenix and ITT Tech. Wait, what? Jamabo is also drawing interest from Notre Dame, UCLA, Texas, Texas A&M and others. Time will tell if those premier college programs will be able to convince Jamabo to change his mind.

— Lance Armstrong mentioned the use of PED's in a BBC interview, saying, “if you take me back to 1995, when it was completely and totally pervasive, I'd probably do it again. People don't like to hear that.”

— Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will have surgery on his torn right rotator cuff, likely ending his season.

Yahoo Sports is reporting that Warriors guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, along with Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, Portland’s Wesley Matthew and Clippers guard J.J. Redick will take part in the NBA ‘s 3-point shootout during All-Star weekend.