Utah State football: Aggies have finally built some depth

USU begins spring practice with around 100 players in camp

Published: Wednesday, March 19 2008 12:00 a.m. MDT

LOGAN — For his first three years of spring ball, holding a true Blue-White Game to conclude drills was never an option for Utah State football coach Brent Guy because the Aggies were so thin in numbers.
Although he hasn't said if there will be a game this year, at least it's a possibility because the Aggies finally have depth.
In his first spring, only 56 players suited up, while this year, the Aggies will have close to 100 when they begin spring drills today at 4 p.m.
It serves as a sign that the Aggies are starting to get where they want to be.
"We do have more depth than we ever had," Guy said.
The Aggies signed 21 players on initial signing day in early February and then added another running back in early March, but Guy said he isn't done.
"We actually have four (initials) left," he said, and at least one of them will be used to strengthen the offensive line which lost Shawn Murphy and Pace Jorgensen. Also, center Ryan Tonnemacher is recovering from knee surgery and will miss spring drills.
"We'd like to have a guy that can play guard — a dual guy, and then we would like to find a rush defensive end in the junior college ranks, and the other two will be high school guys," Guy said. "We get three weeks in May to evaluate, and that will give us chances with high school kids who haven't qualified yet to take another test and qualify."
The same goes for junior college players who are working to get eligible.
Of the 22 early signees, 13 are offensive players — four tight ends, two offensive linemen, two wide receivers, two versatile athletes, two running backs and a quarterback — while the other nine are defensive players — four defensive linemen, three defensive backs and two linebackers.
"As the season went on last year, we had some injuries and we had to go with some younger players and we got worn down a little bit," Utah State recruiting coordinator and assistant head coach Danilo Robinson said. "We felt we addressed that need by signing several bigger-body-type players that can come in and have an immediate impact."
Along with working out issues on the offensive line, the Aggies need to name a new quarterback with the graduation of starter Leon Jackson III and find a go-to guy to replace Kevin Robinson.
"There are three guys that know and understand the offense pretty well," Guy said of QBs Jase McCormick, Sean Setzer and Diondre Borel.
The Aggies will also need to tighten up their defense, which allowed 450.3 yards and 33.8 points per game last season.
Spring drills continue Thursday and Friday this week, and for the next three weeks practices will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m.
Drills conclude April 11 with a scrimmage at Romney Stadium.
The Aggies (2-10) finished last season with back-to-back road wins at Idaho and New Mexico State. They open the 2008 season Aug. 30 at UNLV.

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