Aug. 17, 2000
LOGAN, Utah - Meet The Aggies
Note: The USU athletic media relations office will feature a newcomer and a veteran football player each day on the web site leading into the season opener against Texas Tech.
6-6, 243, Junior, Tight End
Newhall, Calif. (Hart HS/LA Valley JC)
"It is what you always dread. It is probably the worst thing that can happen during the season."
Those are words from Utah State junior tight end Scott Collins, who was describing his frustrations from the 1999 season. Collins had played in each of USU's first three games and had caught two passes for 17 yards against Utah, but was forced to undergo shoulder surgery and missed the last eight games of the year.
The injury did not come on a particular play, but kept getting worse during the previous two years to the point where he was just not physically able to perform on the field.
"You have been traveling and you go in the training room and they tell you that you have to get cut open and that you aren't going to play anymore this year," Collins said. "It is tough, but you handle it."
This year, the 6-6, 243-pounder is both physically and mentally ready to return to the field
"Excitement," Collins said. "Complete excitement. The offense is picking it up. We have some things we need to correct, but at least we have a couple of weeks (before the first game). There is a lot of improvement and more explosion than in the past years."
And physically? (p> "I probably feel better than I did in two-a-days in high school," he said. "Coach (Shawn) Griswold does a great job of getting us in condition, in shape and strong enough. My shoulder feels well. I have no problems."
6-2, 220, Junior, Linebacker
La Crescenta, Calif. (Crescenta Valley HS/Pasadena City JC)
Friendship as well as ability helped bring Nathan Barber to Logan, Utah to become a member of the Utah State football team.
Barber, a junior college transfer, who is in his first year at Utah State, was swayed by a former high school teammate and friend to come to Logan despite the fact he could have attended several other schools.
Barber, who was a first-team all-conference junior college linebacker at Pasadena City Junior College last year, has been reunited with current Aggie linebacker Jesse Busta. In fact the two are already roommates.
"I could have gone to a couple of different schools, but he was one of my best buddies in high school and I thought it would be a great situation since I am already a junior and I don't have that much time to make friends." Barber explained. "That played a big part in my decision.
Barber is picking things up quickly in practice and learning about the differences between junior college and the division I level.
"Guys are a little bigger and a little faster," Barber said of his first few days on the field. "It is a lot more intense and there is a lot more stuff to know. It is a lot more organized than what I am used to. You have to get a lot more done and you have to know more."
The 90 degree heat that the Aggies have been practicing in the first week however has not bothered Barber.
"I'm used to the heat being from California," he said.
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