USU football team enjoys first day in full pads

<strong>LOGAN—</strong> Though the Utah State University football team opened up its fall camp last week, Wednesday was the first day of full pads for the Aggies who took advantage of the full contact by breaking in their new turf at Romney Stadium.

Despite the excitement of the first full day of pads, many starters were held out of full contact. Sophomore QB Chuckie Keeton, senior wide receiver Matt Austin, and senior running back Kerwynn Williams all sat out for the team drills.

“It was good. We finally get to have some full speed football on tape and watch it,” USU head coach Gary Andersen said. “A lot of young kids got reps, we held out some of the veteran kids. We’ll watch the tape and see, but I know they competed hard.”

Senior quarterback Adam Kennedy, however, failed to take advantage of taking all of the first-team reps in Keeton’s absence. Kennedy overthrew multiple receivers, struggled with his timing, and should have been intercepted on what was a rough day.

In the backfield, sophomore Joe Hill continued his solid play, while juniors Robert Marshall and Joey DeMartino also both played well. Andersen was quick to praise both backs, and said DeMartino has been especially effective catching passes out of the backfield.

Also in the mix in the backfield is JC transfer Abou Toure – who was a late signee – and freshman Kelvin “Mookie” Lee. Toure is imposing at 6 feet 2 inches tall and 230 pounds, and could be a good change of pace from the Aggies’ speed backs. Lee is more in the mold of Williams and Hill, but has showcased some good moves in camp along with his Florida speed.

“I think that Robert Marshall seems to be more physical, and Joey DeMartino seems to be more physical and Joey’s caught the ball very well out of the backfield,” Andersen said. “We’ll see what those young kids are going to do, and how they get their legs back underneath them and react – with Kelvin and Abou, that will be huge.”

On the defense, junior linebacker Jake Doughty has performed well in camp and has impressed both the coaches and his teammates. Redshirt sophomore safety Brian Suite has also been very impressive as he has finally been able to stay healthy.

“I would say that the play of Brian Suite has stood out, I think he’s done a nice job,” Andersen said. “(Another guy is) JoJo Natson – who is a freshman – every day he’s been here since the first day he’s made plays, and he made a nice play again today on third down, so his play has been good.”

The Aggies will continue with fall camp, as they begin two-a-day practices Thursday and play their first scrimmage of the fall Saturday at Romney Stadium at 10 a.m. Both practice and the scrimmage are open to the public.

“They’ve worked hard, they’ve ran hard and they’ve been playing with good awareness and excitement still. We’ll evaluate this tape and see … so far so good,” Andersen said.

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