Transcript: Utah State Football Signing Day News Conference
Feb. 6, 2013
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State football head coach Matt Wells held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the 2013 Signing Class. A complete transcript of Wells' remarks can be found below.
Head Coach Matt Wells
"A lot of those guys are young kids that we're going to be able to get into the program and develop as these years go on. We're really top-heavy with junior and senior offensive linemen on our roster right now. The other thing that sticks out is 12 kids coming from the state of Utah. Like I said in my press conference, this program has been built on that for the last four years and that won't change. They'll be the bedrock of this program. There are great high school coaches in the state of Utah that have helped develop these young men and have helped us through this recruiting process. Some of these kids will be leaving on missions and coming back in a few years. We'll welcome them back with open arms back into the program and they'll be a part of us then, some of them will be a part of us now."
On Individual Signees:
"Ricky Ali'ifua is a kid that signed with us a few years ago. He's back and in school. He went on an LDS Church Mission to Oklahoma City, where I'm from. It's a lot nicer here in the summertime than it is in Oklahoma City I know that. I'm sure he's glad to be back in the snow right now."
"Caden Andersen is a local kid from Logan High School. He was the defensive line MVP as a junior, had an accident this summer and didn't play as a senior. He's a local kid who's dreamed of playing for Utah State his whole life, so we are happy to have him."
"Cody Boyer is an offensive lineman out of St. George. He was an early commitment a year ago as a junior. He's a long-levered, tall, athletic - though he needs to gain some weight - offensive lineman that has a good frame on him."
"Ronald Butler is one of the receivers I was talking about. Ronald is from Contra Costa College, originally from New Jersey. He's a kid that had 13 receiving touchdowns. That's a lot of touchdowns. Ronald has speed, he has the ability to high-point a football and has really good ball skills. He'll be in this summer."
"Andrew Chen originally signed with us last year, but just enrolled in school. He's one of the three guys who are currently here in school."
"Marwin Evans is a community college kid coming from Highland Community College in Kansas. He was a high school kid coming out of Milwaukee. Marwin is a combo defensive back. I basically describe Marwin as having corner-skills in a safety-body. He can play a lot of spots on the backend and we expect him to come in and compete for playing time right out of the gate."
"Tyler Fox is another junior commitment that stuck through this program for the last two years. Tyler is from Layton, an in-state kid. He has played both ways and is an extremely young, athletic, talented kid."
"Darell Garretson was the Arizona Player of the Year as a quarterback. He broke a lot of records at a great high school program at Chandler High School that has become a little bit of a pipeline here. We've got four kids from Chandler now and he's one of two in this signing class. Darell is a talented kid. 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. He's a coach's kid who has a lot to him. He'll come in and he won't flinch as soon as practice starts, I'll tell you that."
"Braden Harris is an in-state kid from Gunnison. He's another early commitment and a tough kid. He will go on a mission and come back to be a big linebacker for us."
"Rashad Hall is a running back who originally signed to Colorado. He's sixth in the state of California in touchdowns and yards, that's a big accomplishment. When you watch his tape, he never lets the first guy tackle him. He's tough and has a strong lower body. He's got some homerun speed and has good hands out of the backfield. We're happy to have Rashad."
"Keylon Hollis was high school teammates with Chuckie Keeton. He comes from Bakersfield College and was the defensive Player of the Year in a good league there. He's a kid that could play several positions for us. We're going to start him at boundary outside linebacker where Bojay (Filimoeatu) played. He's kind of a pass-rush specialist and he could play inside also."
"Wyatt Houston is another early commitment from the summer. He was here at camp. He's a high school quarterback who's really athletic. He's long, he's 6-5, 240. He has a great family. We worked him out as a tight end and he'll come in as a developmental tight end. I think he's got a bright future. He's got great hands and we're excited to have him."
"Karris Johnson is from Northern California, out of California High School. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and had over 2,000 all-purpose yards. Karris is another talented running back. I think he's a good inside zone-runner and he fits in what we do out of the gun."
"Joe Malanga is one of several kids coming from Bingham High School, which is a great program here in the state as everybody knows. Joe is long-levered and athletic, and may be arguably pound-for-pound one of the best athletes in this class. I know that's going to be music to Coach (Mark) Weber's ears with the offensive line. That's not usually something you say about an offensive lineman, but the kid is really, really athletic. He's long, plays bigger than his size and turned some good people down to come here."
"Tyshon Mosley from Jordan High School is a square-bodied big fellow who has a bright future here on the offensive line. We recruited Tyshon for a long time."
"Jeremy Morris is another Chandler High School kid, coming from Mesa Community College. He's a corner with good feet and good speed. He'll be able to come in and compete in some sub-packages early on, as well as the corner spot."
"Dax Raymond from Timpview High School down in Provo, a Utah County kid coming to Cache Valley. He has really good hands. He was a really good basketball player and is athletic and long. He'll serve a church mission immediately out of high school and we're excited about his future when he gets back."
"Zach Swenson comes from East High School. He is a multiple-position type of player to me. Who knows what he's going to grow into. He can play safety, he can play a down outside nickel back, maybe even a field outside linebacker one day. He's very athletic and he's tough. He's another in-state kid that will be a big foundation to this program here in a couple years."
"Brandon Taukeiaho just got back and is currently in school, he's in our off-season program. He just got off his church mission to Houston. He gained some weight and will continue to improve. As he gets here, he's in the weight room with Coach (Dave) Scholz. This kid has a very bright future. We're excited about Brandon, another Bingham High kid."
"Jake Thompson is a kicker out of Logan High. Jake never missed a field goal inside of 40 yards. If he did, he wouldn't tell you. He has a really strong leg. His brother is Josh, in our program still. They're going to get to play together for the fall so that will be cool for them and their parents. We're excited to have Jake. He's an athletic kicker and that's neat to have. We've been really impressed with him in camp. He used to play tailback and safety. He has a strong leg and will compete, pretty quickly I'm sure, for the kick-off spot."
"Myron Turner is another combo defensive back. Myron comes to us from DeSoto High School. It's one of the top schools in southeast Dallas. They're a program known for skill kids and for speed. I think he could grow into being a safety. He's already broad-shouldered even though he doesn't weigh a whole lot. He's got good feet and good cover skills as a corner. He's a great kid. We had him up here this weekend and we're excited about him."
"Ryan Watson is a receiver. He's an Alabama kid, coming from Golden West College in Southern California. Ryan is a track kid with a lot of top-end speed. He'll play an outside receiver spot for us. With losing some of the guys, he'll be able to come in and contribute in some of those packages. We're really happy about Ryan."
"Hayden Weichers is another Bingham kid. Hayden is another kid we had in camp this summer. Coach (Jovon) Bouknight was really impressed when we worked him out in camp. He knows how to stick his foot in the ground, he can run routes, he's got more speed than you think. He's sneaky-fast is what I would consider him. He's a track kid, really excited about him. He's a good kid who will be in here immediately this summer."
"Jacoby Wildman is another Logan High Grizzly. This kid has a lot of stuff in his neck. He'll go on a mission. He and Caden (Andersen) are cousins, long-time Cache Valley kids. He's the No. 1 heavyweight wrestler in the state, hopefully he'll win the thing and we'll go on from there."
Of the freshmen who are coming in who do you expect to step right in and have an impact?
Do you have a sense of ownership with this recruiting class given that you and your staff had to take over in the middle of a head coaching change?
What do you think really sales Utah State to athletes?
Where do you see the quarterback position by adding this class?
Did you have any concerns moving forward with your vacant coaching positions?
How important is it to get the local guys to commit here?
Do you see an open battle at the running back position?
These running backs coming in you, do you feel they will step right in?
Looking at Myron Turner and how he ended here is a unique situation:
No signee from Florida, is that an area you want to recruit?