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Matt Gade, Deseret News
East High's Preston Curtis is tackled by Highland's Adam Webber on a stretch play during a game at Talley Stevens Stadium on Friday, September 20, 2013.

SALT LAKE CITY — The player simply known as “joystick” is heading to Utah State.

East’s electrifying slotback, Preston Curtis, has officially committed to Utah State, his father, Kyle, confirmed with the Deseret News Friday evening. Curtis received the scholarship offer early Friday and committed shortly thereafter.

“I think he was the best player in the state of Utah this year, athletically. He made plays every time he touched the football,” East coach Brandon Matich said. “I think Utah State fans can expect a dynamic, athletic football player that has that innate quality to make plays. He has that thing that you cannot teach, and he’s the best I’ve ever seen at doing that.”

Curtis slipped beneath the recruiting radar, literally and figuratively, because of his unintimidating stature. He’s listed at 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, but he was widely regarded as one of the top playmakers in the state of Utah.

“He’s not the biggest guy in the room — he’s not the tape-measure guy that everybody looks for in recruiting. He’s a phenomenal football player, and I think there’s too much put into those intangibles,” Matich said. “I think Utah State is getting an absolute steal. They’re getting a young man who is going to be a household name.”

Curtis rushed for 1,042 yards and 15 touchdowns on 87 carries and totaled 56 tackles and four interceptions on defense during East’s run to the state title game in 2013. He also contributed extensively on special teams.

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“He has great vision first of all. … He has the ability to cut back and accelerate through that cut. His juking ability is something that I’ve never seen before,” Matich said. “He’s exceptionally fast — his game speed is remarkable.”

Curtis, a three-sport athlete at East, will serve a two-year LDS Church mission before joining the Aggies. His brother, Tanner, recently returned in December from his religious mission and is currently a member of the Utah State program at quarterback.

East's Preston Curtis commits to Utah State

Email: tphibbs@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @phibbs_