<strong>LOGAN—</strong> Coming off of probably the greatest season in program history, the Utah State football team has garnered unprecedented interest from in-state players and top-caliber recruits. Though they didn’t win every battle, the Aggies appear to have put together one of the school’s best recruiting classes ever. Wednesday is the 2013 National Signing Day, and the first day high school and junior college prospects can officially sign with their new teams. Here is a look at who the Aggies have brought in so far.
<strong><a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V36eOKz9IM” target=”_blank”>Ricky Ali’ifua</a> – 6-foot 3-inch, 275 pound defensive end (San Leandro HS, Calif.): </strong>Signed with Utah State in 2009, and is now attending USU after returning from an LDS mission in Oklahoma City, Okla.
<strong><a href=”http://insider.espn.go.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/player/evaluation/_/id/168258/caden-andersen” target=”_blank”>Caden Andersen</a> – 6-foot 3-inch, 250-pound defensive end (Logan HS): </strong>Was named the Region 5 Defensive MVP as a junior, and was a major part of Logan’s perfect season and 4A State Title team in 2011. Badly injured his head in an offseason longboarding accident and missed the entire 2012 season.
<strong>Cody Boyer – 6-foot 6-inch, 280-pound offensive lineman (Pine View HS): </strong>Earned All-State honors and helped Pine View reach the 2012 3-A playoffs. Committed to Utah State as a junior, and is a 2-star recruit by <a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recruiting/player-Cody-Boyer-140856″ target=”_blank”>Rivals.com</a>. Is a long-levered, tall, athletic lineman that has a good frame but needs to gain some weight.
<strong>Ronald Butler – 6-foot, 190-pound wide receiver (Costa Contra College, Calif.): </strong>Originally from Jersey City, N.J., Butler was recruited by Iowa State, Middle Tennessee, and Western Kentucky, and was also receiving interest from Texas before signing with USU. As a sophomore, Butler recorded 55 catches for 870 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is a fleet-footed receiver who will go up and fight for the ball. Is a 3-star recruit by <a href=”http://247sports.com/Player/Ronald-Butler-28233″ target=”_blank”>247sports.com</a>.
<strong>Andrew Chen – 6-foot 3-inch, 260 pound offensive lineman (Chaminade College Prep, Calif.): </strong>Originally signed with USU in 2012, and is now attending the university. Is a 2-star recruit by <a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/player-Andrew-Chen-134970″ target=”_blank”>Rivals.com</a>.
<strong>Marwin Evans – 6-foot 1-inch, 190-pound cornerback (Highland CC, Kan.): </strong>A 3-star cornerback according to <a href=”http://247sports.com/Player/Marwin-Evans-28005″ target=”_blank”>247sports.com</a>, Evans had offers from Wisconsin, Kansas State, Indiana, and Hawaii, among others. Recorded 22 tackles, two interceptions, and a pass breakup in nine games. Is a combo DB with corner skills and a safety body. Expected to come in and compete for immediate playing time.
<strong>Tyler Fox – 5-foot 11-inch, 165 pound wide receiver/cornerback (Layton HS): </strong>Garnered Second-Team All-State honors as he recorded 53 catches for 801 yards and five touchdowns. Also tallied five interceptions. Committed to USU as a junior, and is a 3-star composite recruit by <a href=”http://247sports.com/Player/Tyler-Fox-20002″ target=”_blank”>247sports.com</a>.
<strong>Darrell Garretson – 6-foot, 200-pound quarterback (Chandler HS, Ariz.): </strong>Decommitted from WAC and future MWC rival San Jose State to sign with the Aggies, and was also recruited by Colorado. Is a 3-star recruit according to <a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recruiting/player-Darell-Garretson-131805″ target=”_blank”>Rivals.com</a>. Threw for 3,065 yards and 27 TDs, with a 67 percent completion percentage and only six interceptions, and was named the Arizona player of the year. Throws the deep ball well, but also has the elusiveness to pose a running threat, as he rushed for 347 yards and 7 TDs. Is a coaches kid with a lot of moxy, and should immediately push for the backup QB spot.
<strong>Braden Harris – 6-foot 4-inch, 226-pound linebacker (Gunnison HS): </strong>Was recruited by Stanford and UNLV, but was one of USU’s earliest commitments. Expected to serve an LDS mission prior to playing for the Aggies. Recorded 278 tackles and 14 sacks, to go along with two picks during his high school career. Named a 3-star recruit by <a href=”http://247sports.com/Player/Braden-Harris-18043″ target=”_blank”>247sports.com</a>.
<strong><a href=”http://m.espn.go.com/ncf/recruiting/recruit?id=108545&wjb” target=”_blank”>Rashad Hall</a> <strong>–</strong> 6-foot 1-inch, 205-pound running back (Contra Costa College, Calif.): </strong>Hall comes to the Aggies after rushing for 1,402 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore. Coming out of high school, he was ranked the No. 67 running back in the country by ESPN, and the No. 5 running back prospect in North Carolina. Originally signed with Colorado out of high school, and was recruited by Cal, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Was recruited by Colorado and SJSU out of junior college, and was teammates with fellow USU commit, Ronald Butler. Hall has a strong lower body, rarely gets tackled by the first man, and has good hands out of the backfield.
<strong>Keylon Hollis – 6-foot 1-inch, 230-pound linebacker (Bakersfield CC, Calif.): </strong>Named his conference’s Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, Hollis is a high school teammate of USU quarterback Chuckie Keeton. He is a 2-star recruit according to <a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recruiting/player-Keylon-Hollis-138051″ target=”_blank”>Rivals.com</a>, and received interest from Arizona, Arizona State, and Nevada. He recorded 42 tackles, including 17 for loss and 13 sacks. Can play several different positions in USU’s defense, but will start at the boundary outside linebacker spot. Is a pass-rush specialist.
<strong>Wyatt Houston – 6-foot 5-inch, 245-pound tight end (Horizon Christian HS, Ore.): </strong>Played quarterback in high school, accounting for 3,500 yards and 41 touchdowns, but was recruited as and is expected to play tight end. Is a 2-star recruit according to <a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/oregonpreps/football/recruiting/player-Wyatt-Houston-127637″ target=”_blank”>Rivals.com</a>, and was recruited by a pair of Pac-12 schools in Washington State and Oregon State. Is very athletic and has great hands.
<strong>Karris Johnson – 6-foot 1-inch, 205-pound running back (California HS, Calif.): </strong>Rushed for 1301 yards and 20 touchdowns as a prep senior, and was the first player to commit to USU head coach Matt Wells following the coaching change. Had <a href=”http://espn.go.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/player/_/id/159224/karris-johnson” target=”_blank”>offers</a> from Colorado State, UNLV, and Idaho, and was receiving interest from Cal, BYU, Clemson, USC, and Utah. Johnson is a 2-star recruit according to <a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/army/football/recruiting/player-Karris-Johnson-141760″ target=”_blank”>Rivals.com</a>. He is a good inside-zone runner, and fits USU’s running style.
<strong><a href=”http://www.maxpreps.com/athletes/gQ8Xk9mEDU6On2BVxyRpKg/football-fall-12/profile-joe-malanga.htm” target=”_blank”>Joe Malanga</a> – 6-foot 5-inch 260 pound offensive lineman (Bingham HS): </strong>One of the top linemen in the state. Turned down offers from Oregon State, BYU, and Hawaii. Pound-for-pound, may be one of the best athletes in the 2013 class. He’s long, and plays bigger than his size.
<strong>Jeremy Morris – 5-foot 11-inch, 180-pound cornerback (Mesa CC, Ariz.): </strong>A 3-star recruit according to <a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recruiting/player-Jeremy-Morris-93579″ target=”_blank”>Rivals.com</a>, Morris had offers from Southern Miss, UNLV, Nevada, and Hawaii. Morris recorded 41 tackles last season, and tallied 15 pass breakups, four interceptions, and a fumble recovery. Has really good feet and good speed, and is expected to contribute immediately. Will be the fourth player from Chandler HS in Arizona on USU’s roster.
<strong>Tyshon Mosley – 6-foot 5-inch, 315-pound offensive lineman (Jordan HS): </strong>An <a href=”http://espn.go.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/player/_/id/152226/tyshon-mosely” target=”_blank”>ESPN 3-star recruit</a>, Mosley was part of a massive line which led Jordan to the 5A State Title in 2012. Considered one of the best offensive linemen in the state of Utah. Mosley was also recruited by BYU, Utah, Nevada, San Diego State, and Nevada.
<strong><a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recruiting/player-Dax-Raymond-144646″ target=”_blank”>Dax Raymond</a> – 6-foot 5-inch, 210-pound receiver/tight end (Timpview HS): </strong>Was one of the main offensive weapons for the T-Birds on their way to the 4A State Title. Recorded 23 touchdowns on 74 receptions, and was also recruited by BYU, Utah, and Harvard. Has a big body with great hands, and may transition to tight end for the Aggies. Will serve an LDS mission before enrolling at USU.
<strong><a href=”http://247sports.com/Player/Zach-Swenson-27636″ target=”_blank”>Zach Swenson</a> – 6-foot 1-inch, 185-pound safety (East HS): </strong>Swenson garnered First-Team All-State honors as a senior as he recorded 40 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2012 for the Leopards. A multiple position type of player who can play safety, nickle-back, or possibly outside linebacker in the future.
<strong>Brandon Taukeiaho – 6-foot 4-inch, 340-pound offensive lineman (Bingham HS): </strong>Originally signed with Utah State in 2010 before serving an LDS mission in Houston, and is now currently attending USU. Has a very bright future. He is considered a 2-star recruit by <a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/player-Brandon-Taukeiaho-96142″ target=”_blank”>Rivals.com</a>.
<strong><a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVN4oaSfGEI” target=”_blank”>Jake Thompson</a> – 6-foot, 200-pound kicker/punter (Logan HS): </strong>Thompson has a big leg with the ability to consistently make 50-plus yard kicks, and is accurate as well, never having missed an attempt from inside 40 yards in high school. He is a 2-star recruit according to Scout.com, and was nominated before the 2012 season to play in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Thompson tore his ACL during the season, but is expected to push immediately for kicking and/or punting duties. He was also a very good receiver for the Grizzlies.
<strong>Myron Turner – 5-foot 11-inch, 170-pound safety (DeSoto HS, Tex.): </strong>Turner was a late commit for the Aggies after Washington State pulled his scholarship offer with less than two weeks remaining in the recruiting process. He is a 2-star recruit according to <a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/washingtonstate/football/recruiting/player-Myron-Turner-142532″ target=”_blank”>Rivals.com</a>. Comes from one of the top high schools in Texas, and is another combo DB. Could grow into a safety, but has good feet and good cover skills as a corner.
<strong>Ryan Watson – 6-foot, 180-pound wide receiver (Golden West CC, Calif.): </strong>A 2-star recruit according to <a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/player-Ryan-Watson-137231″ target=”_blank”>Rivals.com</a>, Watson was recruited by Louisiana Tech, Colorado State, UAB, and Southern Miss. Watson is a speedy receiver, who also competes in various sprints for the Golden West track & field team. Watson is originally from Alabama, and is expected to contribute immediately.
<strong>Hayden Weichers – 6-foot, 170-pound wide receiver (Bingham HS): </strong>Originally a BYU commit, Weichers flipped to Utah State in December. He is a 2-star recruit according to <a href=”http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/player-Hayden-Weichers-140607″ target=”_blank”>Rivals.com</a>, and caught 33 passes for 710 yards and nine TDs as a senior. Runs routes very well, and is sneaky fast.
<strong>Jacoby Wildman – 6-foot 3-inch, 275-pound defensive lineman (Logan HS): </strong>Wildman is a 2-star recruit according to <a href=”http://hsutah.scout.com/a.z?s=410&p=8&c=1&nid=6263989″ target=”_self”>Scout.com</a>, and is the No. 1 heavyweight wrestler in the state of Utah. He is cousins with fellow USU commit and Logan HS defensive lineman, Caden Andersen. Recorded 85 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles as a senior. Is expected to serve an LDS mission before enrolling at USU.