To have the opportunity to play Division I football for a great program like Utah State — it's just a dream come true for me. Your whole life you dream of having that opportunity and to have that opportunity is just a huge blessing for me and my family. —Derek Hastings
LEHI — Derek Hastings has played a big role in making traditional doormat Lehi competitive and Utah State coaches have noticed. The Aggies offered the 6-foot-3, 245-pound senior early Monday morning and Hastings committed later that evening.
"To have the opportunity to play Division I football for a great program like Utah State — it's just a dream come true for me," Hastings said. "Your whole life you dream of having that opportunity and to have that opportunity is just a huge blessing for me and my family."
Hastings does a bit of everything for the Pioneers and the role he'll take on at Utah State is yet to be defined. He'll sign as an athlete this February, capable of playing any number of positions.
"Tight end, H-back, defensive end, linebacker, whatever they want I'm fine with," Hastings said. "I really don't have a preference — just wherever they need me most."
This season Hastings has proved extremely versatile, taking on different roles with every game. He's third on the team in rushing yards with 441 yards on the season and second on the team in sacks with 6.5.
"He's worked so hard and it's great as his coach, but especially as his father, to see that work get paid off," said Hastings' father David, who is also Lehi's head coach. "We're obviously excited that he'll have the opportunity to play in a great program like Utah State."
Hastings served notice to Aggie coaches this past summer during two different camp sessions. Coaches began contacting him regularly and ultimately decided to offer.
While Hastings was hearing from other in-state programs, he decided Utah State was the best place for him.
"I love the coaches there — that's probably the biggest thing is the relationship and trust I have with coach (Matt) Wells and all the other coaches," he said. "I love the atmosphere, too. I've been able to see some games there and I love the fans, the environment — it's really the perfect place for me."
Hastings will opt to serve an LDS Church mission before enrolling at Utah State.