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Utah State football: Aggies wrap up day 7 of spring football practice

By Tavin Stucki

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, March 26 2014 12:15 a.m. MDT

Utah State Aggies wide receiver Bruce Natson (9) fights off the tackle of Fresno State Bulldogs defensive back Jonathan Norton (37) during the Mountain West Football Championship game at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, Calif. on Saturday, December 7, 2013.

Matt Gade, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

LOGAN, Utah — The Utah State spring practice season is nearing the halfway marker, into what Aggie head coach Matt Wells called “the grind.”

After USU’s seventh spring practice Tuesday, Wells said his team looked a little sluggish.

“Not every day is going to be the same amount of excitement,” the second-year head coach said. “First day of spring ball, first day of pads, first scrimmage: those are all the easy ones. Spring game, that’s an easy one. Day 14 is an easy one because you know it’s almost over.”

The Aggies will continue practice through April 10, with a scrimmage April 4 and the concluding Blue vs. White spring game at 2 p.m. on April 12.

Natson flexing his muscles

Sophomore wide receiver Jojo Natson said the coaching staff recently installed a package for him to be used as a running back.

“I’m playing a little bit of both (wide receiver and running back), I’m adjusting to that,” Natson said. “There’re some good running backs. We’re just holding down the perimeter for those guys. They find a seam and they’re off to the races.”

The 5-foot-6-inch speedster out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had 59 catches last year for the Aggies and two touchdowns on 395 yards receiving. Natson also handled punt return duties, amassing 351 yards and another pair of scores.

Keeton still not practicing

Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton was not wearing shoulder pads on the sidelines for Tuesday morning’s practice. The quarterback tore his ACL in the Oct. 4 loss to BYU last year.

Wells said there’s nothing new to say about Keeton’s injury, but the once-Heisman hopeful is expected to be ready to play this fall.

Sophomore gunslinger Darell Garretson, who won the starting job after Keeton went down, has taken the vast majority of snaps with the first team this spring.

Daniel Gray transfers from Tennessee

Gray, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound cornerback from Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., has had a tough time adjusting to the colder Logan weather but said he decided on being an Aggie because of former cornerback standouts like Nevin Lawson and Will Davis.

The sophomore will get a chance to take the field against his old team Aug. 30 for the first game of the 2014 season.

“I just knew Utah State was going to be the place for me," Gray said. “It’s crazy how you leave a program and then you go to another program, and your first game back you’re playing your old school."

Tavin Stucki is a senior journalism student at Utah State University and editor-in-chief of The Utah Statesman, the Aggie campus newspaper. Twitter: @DesNewsAggies @StuckiAggies

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