U State: the next generation of football
Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 13:02
What used to be an unknown day at Utah State has now turned into quite a big deal.
Football head coach Matt Wells announced the signing of 24 recruits on National Signing Day as part of his first class as head coach.
“I think the first class will always be special,” Wells said. “The kids that want to come here, we are going to win with them.”
Abrupt coaching changes following the departure of former head coach Gary Andersen led many to doubt if the class would stay intact, but Wells said he was very impressed with the dedication of the early commits.
“They stuck with us,” Wells said. “That was neat to see their loyalty, not just to a certain coach, but to the university, our football program and the direction we’re going. That’s the biggest thing that stuck out to me was their dedication and loyalty with the transition.”
One of the first priorities was to replace multiple graduating linemen with freshmen, Wells said.
“The big thing you see about the class is there’s going to be five offensive linemen,” Wells said. “That’s good. That’s encouraging to beef that area up. We needed that.”
Joe Malanga from South Jordan, Utah, and Tyshon Mosley from Sandy, Utah, were two of the group’s most hyped linemen.
“Joe is long-levered and athletic and may be arguably pound-for-pound one of the best athletes in this class,” Wells said. “Tyshon is a square-bodied big fellow who has a bright future here on the offensive line.”
Wells said signing skill players with experience, such as wide receivers and running backs, was a priority as well.
“We added a few kids, added some junior college kids and addressed a lot of our needs,” Wells said. “We signed two junior college wide receivers and two junior college defensive backs that will come in and compete for playing time right out of the gate.”
Receivers Ronald Butler from New Jersey and Ryan Watson from Alabama highlighted the group.
“Ronald has speed,” Wells said. “He has the ability to high-point a football and has really good ball skills. He’s a kid that had 13 receiving touchdowns.”
With many receivers leaving, Wells said Watson has an early chance for playing time.
“Ryan is a track kid with a lot of top-end speed,” Wells said. “He’ll play an outside receiver spot for us.”
One of the late signees was highly-rated Myron Turner from Texas. After originally signing with Washington State, the Cougars then revoked the offer, allowing Turner to sign with the Aggies.
“Myron is a talented kid,” Wells said. “He was here this past weekend and our kids loved him, our players loved him. I think he could grow into being a safety.”
Wells was also very excited about quarterback Darell Garretson out of Chandler, Arizona. Garretson was the Arizona Player of the Year his senior year while throwing for 27 touchdowns with six interceptions.
“Darell is a talented kid,” Wells said. “He has a lot of moxie. He’s got a strong arm and he’s accurate. He can pull it down and run the read-zone.”
The list included 12 players from the state of Utah, which Wells said will be a staple of his time at Utah State.
“This program has been built on that for the last four years and that won’t change,” he said. “They’ll be the bedrock of this program.”
Spencer Champlin contributed to this report.