LOGAN, Utah – Utah State football held its initial spring practice Tuesday afternoon as sixth-year head coach Gary Andersen had 95 players suit up for the one hour and 45-minute workout on Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium.
“It’s great to be out here and I thought the practice was very well organized with a business-like approach from our young men and coaches,” said Andersen. “They handled the periods and change in tempos very well. The challenge for this football team is to understand to execute against each other and that there is going to be a winner and a loser with everything we do. When you have a young football team and as many young kids competing as we do, it’s important that they understand that and they practice the right way, which they did today.”
Of the 95 players that were donning helmets, practice jerseys and shorts, three are graduate transfers, 25 will be seniors, 13 will be juniors, 24 will sophomores and 30 are freshmen. In all, Utah State returns 13 starters (O-8, D-5) as part of 46 letterwinners (O-23, D-21, S-2) from last year’s team that finished with a 7-6 record and played in its 14th bowl game in school history in the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl. USU concluded Mountain West play with a 6-2 record to finish third in the Mountain Division.
Utah State also welcomes back 25 players (O-11, D-13, S-1) that redshirted last season, to go along with 10 more players (O-5, D-4, S-1) that were members of the team in 2019. Of those 35 players listed above, eight saw action last season. USU also welcomes 14 newcomers to the squad this spring, which includes six transfers and eight incoming freshmen.
“The main thing I have been focusing on is trying to understand the offense better and creating chemistry with the receivers,” said junior quarterback Henry Colombi. “This spring has been a lot different for me, personally, being the most experienced guy in the room. It’s exciting and it felt amazing being back on the field with my teammates today.”
“Henry’s experience showed today and that was fairly obvious. He was by far the best quarterback out there and it was nice to see him do what he did,” said Andersen.
Highlighting Utah State’s returners in 2020 is senior WR Savon Scarver, who is just the third consensus All-American in school history. Scarver was named a first-team All-American from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the Football Writers Association of America and Phil Steele’s Magazine, and earned second-team All-American honors from the American Football Coaches Association as a kick returner following his sophomore season in 2018. Scarver was also named first-team all-Mountain West as a kick returner as both a sophomore and junior in 2018 and 2019, respectively. USU also returns senior S Shaq Bond, who earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors a season ago.
Other starters returning for Utah State in 2020 include senior OL Demytrick Ali’ifua, senior S Troy Lefeged Jr., senior LB Kevin Meitzenheimer, senior WR Jordan Nathan, senior OL Ty Shaw, senior DE Justus Te’i, senior TE Carson Terrell, junior OL Alfred Edwards, junior CB Andre Grayson, junior OL Kyler Hack, junior WR Deven Thompkins and sophomore OL Karter Shaw.
“Today was more of a mental day for us, trying to get down new calls with our defense, because we have changed a lot of things,” said Lefeged. “I’m just trying to lead by example, because we have a lot of new faces out here.”
During the five-week period, the Aggies will participate in 15 spring practice sessions, including their annual Blue vs. White Spring Game on Thursday, April 9, at Maverik Stadium at 5:30 p.m. In all, five more practices will be open to the public this spring – March 14, 21, 28 and April 4 and 9. Media interviews will be available upon request following all practices.
Season ticket renewals are currently being accepted. To renew, fans should visit www.utahstateaggies.com, or do so in person or by phone, through the USU Ticket Office during regular business hours (435-797-0305). New season ticket orders can also be made.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
2020 Utah State Football Spring Practice Dates
Wednesday, March 11 – (Closed)
Friday, March 13 – (Closed)
Saturday, March 14 – 10:45 – 1 p.m. (Open)
Tuesday, March 17 – (Closed)
Thursday, March 19 – (Closed)
Saturday, March 21 – 1 – 2:45 p.m. – Scrimmage (Open)
Tuesday, March 24 – (Closed)
Thursday, March 26 – (Closed)
Saturday, March 28 – 10:45 – 1 p.m. – (Open)
Tuesday, March 31 – (Closed)
Thursday, April 2 – (Closed)
Saturday, April 4 – 10:45 – 1 p.m. – (Open)
Tuesday, April 7 – (Closed)
Thursday, April 9 – 5:30 p.m. – Blue vs. White Spring Game (Open)
Note – Dates and times subject to change.