Aug. 23, 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.
Steve Mullins 6-4, 226, So., Punter/Wide Receiver, Phoenix, Ariz. (Paradise Valley HS)
At 6-4, 226 pounds, Steve Mullins does not exactly look like your average punter. Big and strong, Mullins used that strength to average 42.3 yards per punt in 1999. Those numbers ranked 29th in the country last year and earned him Freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News.
Despite his solid season, Mullins was not happy with his performance as the year progressed.
"Towards the end of the season my punts started dropping off and that might have been from a lack of fundamentals," Mullins said. "We have been working hard on that this year so hopefully we can keep our consistency in the mid-40s all year long instead of dropping off at the end of the year."
A quarterback as a redshirt in 1998 and a backup at that position in 1999, Mullins was moved to wide receiver this past spring. In high school he threw for a school record 3,000 yards in his prep career, but has now found himself on the other end of passing attempts. He has shown great progress at wide receiver and should see a lot of game action this season.
"All I had known was quarterback, but now it is all about being on the field," Mullins said of the position change. "I am just glad to be on the field and I love it more every day."
And how will the demands of playing wide receiver affect his punting?
"I think it will help my punting," Mullins said. "It will keep my legs going during the game so I don't have to keep stretching out and it will keep me warm."
Robert Fockaert 6-1, 185, Fr., Quarterback, Lancaster, Calif. (Paraclete HS)
When Robert Fockaert arrived on the Utah State campus for the beginning of preseason workouts, his ability was quickly noticed and appreciated by the new USU wide receivers, who commented on his ability to throw the football.
Fockaert (pronounced Fo-Cart) has also drawn the attention of coaches, who believe he can be a big contributor to the Utah State program before his career is complete. The confident freshman has a great attitude and appears to have the physical tools to succeed at this level.
"Athleticism is my big thing," Fockaert said about himelf. "I am small (6-1). I am not 6-3, 6-4, so I get in there and move around and throw the ball. I like to throw the ball down the field. I like to win. That is the main thing. I don't come out to lose every week."
Fockaert, who is sitting out this week due to an inflammation in his shoulder has been impressed with the intensity and speed of learning the college game from the coaches.
"It is not a slow paced thing," he said. "You learn as you go. You pick up as much as you can and go out there and do what you can every day and work hard."
Helping Fockaert get through two-a-days is time spent with his high school teammate Robert Watts, who also signed with the Aggies this season.
"We are close," Fockaert said. "We room together. We played high school football together. We played Pop Warner football in the same league. (After practice) we go back and talk about our days and they are long days."
And while Fockaert will have to bide his time behind several veteran Aggie quarterbacks, he is excited about the future for Utah State football.
"It is wide open and you can throw the ball 30-40 times a game," he said. "We have great young players that are coming in now and have a great mix of veterans that are already on the team."
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