Aug. 19, 2000
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.
Ryan Duncan DE, 6-3, 345, Jr. Phoenix, Ariz. (Mountain Pointe HS)
Junior defensive end Ryan Duncan is listed as the starter at one of the defensive ends positions on Utah State's depth chart, but it hasn't been an easy route to get there.
Duncan redshirted his first year at Utah State in 1997 and then four games into his collegiate career in 1998 suffered a season-ending knee injury. The severity of the injury kept him out of spring practice in 1999 and he finally returned to the field last season.
"That was a hard one to come back from.," Duncan said of his injury. "It was my fourth game and my fourth play at defensive end and I got cut. It was a bad deal. It was real hard for me, but I think things happen for a reason and it has made me a lot stronger player because of it."
Duncan backed up Caleb Smith and Lance Sopoaga at defensive end last year and made nine tackles on the year, including two for loss. This year his hard work and patience have been rewarded with a scheduled start in the season opener at Texas Tech.
"I am very excited and very optimistic about the season," Duncan said. "I like the staff and the guys I am playing with. I am just real excited."
The former all-state player in Arizona, who set his high school record for season and career sacks with 14 and 23 respectively, has developed into a pretty good end here at USU.
"Getting to college has made me realize I need to use my hands and that there is more technique than just getting off the ball and trying to overpower people," Duncan explained. "I need to finesse people more. I have gotten a lot stronger and a lot faster since I have gotten here. I feel good about everything."
Another thing Duncan feels good about is a return trip to his hometown of Phoenix, when the Aggies travel to play at Arizona State on Sept. 23.
"I want to keep it under my hat, but It will be great and a lot of fun," Duncan said of the matchup with the Sun Devils. "I played against a lot of those guys (in high school)."
Jason Green OL, 6-5, 260, Fr. Glasgow, Mont. (Glasgow HS)
In the state of Montana kids grow up with dreams of playing football for the University of Montana, a national power at the division I-AA level. The state has produced numerous outstanding players that stayed home and had great success donning the silver, gold and maroon of the Grizzlies.
Jason Green was extremely familiar with the success achieved by Montana and its coaching staff. However when then Grizzly head coach Mick Dennehy and his staff left Montana to take over the Utah State State program, that meant a trip outside the borders of the Big Sky State and four-to-five years in Logan, Utah for an outstanding player-to-be.
Dennehy's connections and success helped Utah State land Green, an all-state offensive lineman from Glasgow, Mont. in Dennehy's first recruiting class.
"I liked the surroundings a lot," Green said of Cache Valley. "The coaches were recruiting me when I was in Montana and they were there. They are a good coaching staff. I knew them from the camps I went to and that was the main reason. Of course it is also division I football. I had a full ride at Montana, but I felt this was the place I needed to be."
Green has been getting a lesson of what division I football is all about in two-a-day workouts and laughed and responded "everything" when asked what he needed to improve on to be successful at this level.
"It is a lot faster and quicker," Green explained. "I am starting to get it, but the first few days of pads were rough, but it is coming."
Luckily for Green and the coaching staff, most new linemen spend a redshirt year adjusting to the college game, as well as working on strength improvement. However, it won't be long before Green is right in the mix of things for Utah State.
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