Jan 20, 2013
Matt Wells running a train on some recruiting!
Now the Aggies are beating out big time programs like Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oregon State for some big time prospects. Along with that, quality in-state players seem to be more and more stoked to come to Utah State these days too.
This past recruiting season has been an odd one for USU though. For starters, the amount of early commitments to the Aggies was very much out of the ordinary. In the past, the bulk of USU's commits would come about late in the recruiting season. While plenty of great fits and great players came of it, it often had the sense of USU getting guys that few other schools badly wanted.
Now, USU seems to be the place that many players badly want to be.
Another wild card in this year's recruiting is the coaching change. A lot of these early commits had initially committed to former head coach Gary Andersen. That apparently has resulted in minimal changes though, with a handful of those recruits reaffirming their commitment to Utah State and new head coach Matt Wells. All in all, this is shaping up to be a great class that could set USU up for plenty of future success.
So let's run down what we know about the most recent recruits in the news.
Caden Andersen - DL
Was a first-team all-state defensive lineman on Logan High School's 14-0 state championship team as a junior in 2011. Missed his entire senior year due to a longboarding accident, but one has to assume that if he was even attempting something with that kind of injury risk, kid has got to have some balls! He's got good size for a defensive lineman and should turn out to be yet another solid Cache Valley product to shine for the Aggies.
Tyler Fox - WR/CB
A solid all-around athlete who my gut tells me will end up playing defensive back for the Aggies. Had 34 tackles and five interceptions during his senior year of high school.
Wyatt Houston - TE
Another stud athlete with a versatile set of skills. The apparent plan is to turn him into a tight end, and with his size and athleticism, should be a great fit for a USU scheme that relies heavily on tight ends to be able to both run block and catch passes.
Hagen Andersen - WR
Two out of three with the Andersen boys, Hagen will be coming to USU apparently as a walk-on initially. What position he ends up playing is a question mark, as I'm not sure he's got the speed to stick at wide receiver. Would not be at all surprised to see him follow in the footsteps of Keegan and move to tight end, but in my perfect world, he'd turn into the second coming of McKade Brady and kick man asses in the defensive backfield.
Joe Malanga - OL
With reported offers from Hawaii and Oregon State, USU had a battle on its hands for an offensive lineman that fits the profile of recent Aggie offensive linemen pretty perfectly. On top of being a good athlete with very good mobility, dude is already pretty jacked for a high school player. With at least another year to put on more strength until he'll be counted on at all, he could turn out to be a very good get.
THE NEW COMMITS
Damion Hobbs - QB
Here's your big one!! Hobbs visited last weekend, thought about things for a while, and decided to cancel his visit to Oregon next weekend and commit to the Aggies. The former commit of Arkansas State has a ton of offers from a handful of major programs, but none that he saw as more major than Utah State! He can run, he can throw, and his decision-making abilities are clearly on point!
Justin Johnson - OL
An offensive lineman from Texas with some quality size and plans to head out on a mission before coming to USU. For offensive linemen, that can really only be a plus with the added growth and maturity that RMs so often bring to the table.
Ryan Watson - WR
We knew junior college wide receivers were going to be a priority in this class, and Watson looks like he'll be a very solid addition to next year's group of receivers. On film he looks to have pretty good size, very good speed, and solid hands. USU apparently made a very good impression on him during his visit last weekend, and like Hobbs, after a little time to think, decided he wanted to be an Aggie.
Darell Garretson - QB
Just after posting the original bit on recruits, news broke of yet another commit. Once again, it's a quarterback who had previously committed to another school too. Garretson looks to be more of a pocket passer, adding some diversity to the quarterback recruits of this class. He played at the same high school as current USU defensive backs Michael Okonkwo and Devin Centers. When it comes to the quarterback position, more depth is never a bad thing. Kid looks like he's got a hell of an arm, so this looks like another great pickup for Wells.