Countdown To Kickoff - 24 Days: Utah State Adds Shoulder Pads To Third Practice of Fall Camp; Coach Andersen Reiterates Importance of In-State Recruiting
Aug. 6, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - After practicing the first two days of fall camp in just helmets, Utah State added shoulder pads on Monday as part of its five-day acclimatization period. USU will remain in helmets and shoulder pads on Tuesday before donning full pads Wednesday morning. USU's first two-a-day is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 9. All practices during fall camp, which concludes on Saturday, Aug. 25, are open to the public.
Utah State will conclude its first full week of camp with its initial scrimmage of the fall on Saturday, Aug. 11 on Merlin Olsen Field inside Romney Stadium at 10 a.m. The scrimmage will contain at least 100 snaps.
"This is a big week," said fourth-year USU head coach Gary Andersen. "I told the team this morning this is a tough week; it's a mentally tough week and it's a physically tough week. We will learn a lot about the new kids in the program this week. This is a huge week for Utah State football to see where we sit come Saturday night when we're watching the scrimmage tape."
Also on Monday, Andersen reiterated the importance of in-state recruiting for Utah State and announced that the team's current 104-player roster included 10 Cache Valley student-athletes and 51 in-state players.
"In-state recruiting is something we wanted to push from day one here and it was one of the first words to come out of my mouth," said Andersen. "When we got here as a staff, we wanted to recruit the state of Utah and make it important, and I think we've done that.
"Recruiting the state of Utah is important because there are good football players, good high school football coaches and good high school football in the state. Those are the type of kids we want in our program, ones that can be successful at Utah State University and in Cache Valley, and can succeed academically, socially and athletically. It's important for us to have half of our roster from the state of Utah."
The 10 Cache Valley players currently on the 2012 Utah State roster include senior safety McKade Brady (Sky View HS), senior wide receiver Cameron Webb (Mountain Crest HS), junior defensive lineman B.J. Larsen (Logan HS), junior tight end Brad Theurer (Logan HS), junior placekicker Josh Thompson (Logan HS), freshman defensive lineman Eric Bernston (Sky View HS), freshman offensive lineman Zac Bitters (Mountain Crest HS), freshman quarterback Jeff Manning (Logan HS), freshman placekicker Brock Warren (Sky View HS), and redshirt freshmen defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen (Sky View HS) who was awarded a scholarship this summer.
"Jordan Nielsen has worked unbelievably hard. He's tall and athletic, and the perfect example of a high school kid who works his tail off and is a multi-sport athlete," said Andersen. "When kids like Jordan get the opportunity to sink their teeth into one sport, and have tremendous work ethic, good things take place. He has developed himself into a very talented, hard-working, tough-minded young football player in our program and that's why we decided to put him on aid."
Andersen also made it a point to say that all 10 of the current Cache Valley players on the roster are contributing and playing and aren't just guys on the team. In fact, Andersen stated that at least eight of those Cache Valley players could make the travel roster this fall.
Along with in-state recruiting, Andersen also singled out 12 players from Utah State's `non-traditional' recruiting style who are now members of the team. Non-traditional recruiting refers to players who never visited campus during the recruiting process, signed late, and even players who the USU coaching staff never saw play a single snap of football.
"Non-traditional recruiting is very big for us," said Andersen. "We never stop recruiting, we keep getting guys in and grinding away. If we lose a guy we find another guy and I think that's very different than a lot of programs in the country."
Among the group of non-traditional players on Utah State's current roster include junior linebacker Cade Cowdin (St. George, Utah/Dixie State), junior defensive lineman AJ Pataiali'i (Pah-tie-ah-lee-e) (West Valley City, Utah/Snow College), junior defensive lineman Sini Tauauve'a (See-knee Tao-ow-veh-ah) (West Valley City, Utah/Snow College), junior running back Abou Toure (Framingham, Mass./Dean JC), junior offensive lineman Daquan Vandross (Bronx, N.Y./College of the Canyons), sophomore offensive lineman Joe Summers (Tremonton, Utah/Snow College), freshman cornerback Devin Centers (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler HS), freshman quarterback Mike Chislock (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach HS), freshman linebacker Dustin Hoover (Waimea, Hawaii/Hawaii Prep Academy), freshman running back Kelvin Lee (South Daytona, Fla./Mainland HS), freshman offensive lineman Logan Malohifo'ou (Mah-low-he-fah-oh) (West Jordan, Utah/Copper Hills HS), and Nielsen.
For the first time since 1996, the Aggies will open a season with back-to-back home games, hosting a pair of in-state foes in Southern Utah on Thursday, Aug. 30 and Utah on Friday, Sept. 7. Both games are slated for 6 p.m. (MT) starts from Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. The Aggies' game against Utah will be on ESPN2.
Season tickets and two-game packages can be purchased in person at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Fans can also buy tickets over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1, or online at www.utahstateaggies.com/tickets.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
Utah State Football Practice Dates, Times and Location Tues., Aug. 7 --- 2:15 - 4:15 pm (Practice Field) Wed., Aug. 8 --- 9:15 - 11:15 am (Practice Field) Thur., Aug. 9 --- 9:15 - 11:15 am / 4:55 - 6:25 pm (Practice Field) --- First Two-A-Day Fri., Aug. 10 --- 9:15 - 11:15 am (Practice Field) Sat., Aug. 11 --- 10:00 - 11:30 am (Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium) --- Scrimmage #1 Mon., Aug. 13 --- 9:15 - 11:15 am / 4:55 - 6:25 pm (Practice Field) Tues., Aug. 14 --- 9:15 - 11:15 am (Practice Field) Wed., Aug. 15 --- 9:15 - 11:15 am / 4:55 - 6:25 pm (Practice Field) Thur., Aug. 16 --- 9:15 - 11:15 am (Practice Field) Fri., Aug. 17 --- 9:15 - 11:15 am / 4:55 - 6:25 pm (Practice Field) Sat., Aug. 18 --- 2:00 pm FOOTBALL FAMILY FUN DAY, sponsored by Macy's (Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium) --- Scrimmage #2 Mon., Aug. 20 --- 9:15 - 11:15 am / 3:55 - 5:25 pm (Practice Field) Tues., Aug. 21 --- 2:40 - 4:40 pm (Practice Field) Wed., Aug. 22 --- 9:15 - 11:15 am / 3:55 - 5:25 pm (Practice Field) Thur., Aug. 23 --- 2:40 - 4:40 pm (Practice Field) Fri., Aug. 24 --- 2:40 - 4:40 pm (Practice Field) Sat., Aug. 25 --- 12:00 - 2:00 pm (Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium) End of Camp NOTE: All dates, times and locations subject to change.