Fourth-year head coach Matt Wells welcomes back 12 starters (O-9, D-3) and 38 letterwinners (O-20, D-15, S-3) from last year's team that finished tied for second in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West with a 5-3 record, and played in its school-record fifth-straight bowl game.
USU football head coach Matt Wells held a news conference Monday to recap the Air Force game and preview its Homecoming game against Weber State.
UTAH STATE: Has an NFL-caliber leg and is an excellent kickoff man... A very good athlete for his position... Will once again serve as the team’s long range field goal kicker.
2015 (JR): Served as the team’s kickoff specialist in 12 games as he did not play at New Mexico (11/7) due to injury... Kicked off 67 times for 4,248 yards (63.4 ypk) with 38 touchbacks... Recorded a career-high seven touchbacks against No. 21 Boise State (10/16) on eight kickoffs and also had seven touchbacks against Wyoming (10/30) on 10 kickoffs... Averaged a season-best 65.0 yards on those eight kickoffs against BSU... Had five touchbacks against both Colorado State (10/3) and at Fresno State (10/10)... Was 3-of-6 on field goals during the season as he made a 48-yarder against CSU, tied his career long with a 52-yarder against BSU and made a 42-yarder late in the fourth quarter against Nevada (11/21) to give USU a 31-27 come-from-behind win... Was 7-of-8 on extra point attempts during the season, including going 4-for-4 against Nevada and 3-for-3 against BYU (11/28)... Had one special teams tackle during the season at Washington (9/19).
2014 (SO): Served as the team’s kickoff specialist in all 14 games... Kicked off 66 times for 4,032 yards (61.1 ypk) with 26 touchbacks... Recorded a season-high four touchbacks at No. 18 BYU (10/3) on six kickoffs... Had three touchbacks in six other games... Punted one time against Air Force (10/11) for 35 yards... Was 0-of-4 on field goals during the season as he attempted a 48-yarder at Tennessee (8/31), a 54-yarder against Idaho State (9/6), a 45-yarder at Arkansas State (9/20) and a 44-yarder at BYU... Best kickoff game of the season was at Colorado State (10/18) as he averaged 65.0 yards on four kickoffs, with three touchbacks... Had one special teams tackle during the season.
2013 (FR): Served as the team’s kickoff specialist in all 14 games... Kicked off 86 times for 5,465 yards (63.5 ypk) with 42 touchbacks... Recorded a season-high eight touchbacks at Air Force (9/7) on nine kickoffs and eight touchbacks against Hawai’i (11/2) on 10 kickoffs... Was 1-of-3 on field goals during the season as he made his first-ever field goal attempt from 52 yards against UH... Was named a College Football Performance Awards honorable mention Specialist of the Week against Hawai’i as his 52-yard field goal ranked tied for the 10th-longest in school history and the second-longest by a freshman in Mountain West history... Also kicked off 10 times for an average of 64.3 yards with eight touchbacks against the Rainbow Warriors... Attempted a 50-yard field goal at UNLV (11/9) and a 52-yard field goal against No. 24 Northern Illinois (12/26) in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl... Had two special teams tackles during the season... Earned academic all-Mountain West honors.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played in just three games as a prep senior at Logan (Utah) High School and was 2-of-2 on field goals with a long of 49 yards and 7-of-9 on extra points... Punted seven times for an average of 38.29 yards with a long of 53 yards... Also had four catches for 51 yards and one touchdown... A 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Nominee and USA U-19 Team Nominee... Earned Utah Class 4A first-team all-state and first-team all-region honors during his junior year as he helped Logan HS win the 4A state championship... Was 10-of-12 on field goals as a junior with a career long of 51 yards as he was also named to the all-valley team... Earned first-team all-region and all-valley honors during his sophomore season after making 6-of-9 field goals with a long of 49 yards... Was 5-for-5 on field goals during his freshman year with a long of 35 yards... During his four-year prep career, he never missed a field goal inside of 40 yards... Also earned all-valley and all-region honors during his junior year on the Grizzlies baseball team playing first base and pitcher... Was also an all-valley baseball player as a sophomore.
PERSONAL: One of three children of Brian and Christi Thompson... Older brother, Josh, was a placekicker at Utah State from 2011-13... Majoring in business administration.
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