USU Signs 24! Best recruting class in years?

Best recruiting class ever? After watching the film of all the players we have signed this year, I must say that we have significantly upgraded in two key areas: Size where we need size and speed where we needed speed. <br><br>

1. We're all going to be very pleased with the running backs. Emmanual Marc, Marcus Crawford, Phil Poloa, and Beau Herbert have decent size and can all flat out fly, and you're going to love Sione Tavake. Remember when Jeremy Shockey made his first catch for the NY Giants and he flattened that linebacker that tried to tackle him? Well Tavake is the same kind of guy. For a big guy he's really fast-- former rugby player-- and he loves running down the field and running over people along the way. Running style a lot like former Aggie Timo Tagaloa (remember him?) but with the size and speed of a runaway ton dually pick-up truck! Will play both TE (H) and FB and is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!

2. In Rod McNeal and James Lewis we have two WR's who can really burn. Both just ran away from guys like they were standing still in the clips we saw. Another guy who can really haul it is Chris Forbes of Miami Norland. McMahon told us that he is the #46th rated player in the country, #11 in Miami. He's listed as an athlete because he can do everything-- run, catch, run back kicks, play secondary, etc. He said when that fax came in today there were a lot of people doing a jig in our football office

3. Offensive line should be a sight to behold. If we were going to start today, the lineup would be Burningham at RT, Elliot Tupea or new guy Justin Schlimgen at RG, new guy Brent Deladurantey at C (3 years to play), Victor Eti and Malik Cin (pronounced Chin) at LG, and Donald Penn at LT. Hoover said the average weight of that line is about 310, with Deladurantey and Eti at the top at about 320 and Schlimgen and Cin the runts at about 305. Plus, the Tongalinivia (or however you say it) kid from Hunter is going to walk on and red-shirt and get experience and he has tremendous upside, too. Factor in all of the RS Freshman and sophomore linemen we have waiting in the wings and the line has become a real strength for this team. Mick said all of the OL that were recruited were brought in to PLAY NOW!

Same with the TE position, where they signed the Wilson kid. We need somebody who can be a blocker, due to the uncertainty of whether or not Pat McNutt will be recovered from shoulder surgery or not. Wilson is an outstanding blocker, and a pretty good receiver, too, though Jason Stephens is the man when it comes to catching passes from that position.

4. First time I have seen Cole Nielsen in action. One word: polished. He's going right on a mission, but he will just get better and better once he's in the program. Bob Cole said he can make near every throw now, and by the time he gets back and has a little more size on him and arm strength, the deep out will be no trouble at all for him. And the kid has been raised an Aggie!

5. Lots of great DB's. But the good news is that Eddie Gilmore, last years phoneme who didn't play, has passed his tests and will be available this year. Mick said he might be the best DB on the team, and that's saying a lot when you had freshman all-American Terrance Washington on your squad last year! I didn't know this but last years secondary wound up ranked in the top 25 in the country. Another good looking DB was Jared Bush, who is pretty fast and ran back punts for his JC team.

6. Mick was really high on a couple of new linebackers. One is the freshman from Phoenix, Bevan Howard, who manhandled everybody in the films and who the coaching staff believes will play a lot next season. Mick said Howard is the same size and temperament at Jesse Busta, only a lot faster. They we also very glad to have D.J. Brookter back with two season to play. They said he's got his life in order and they are looking for big contributions from him. Add these guys to the Anderson kid from BE who is back from his mission, and to Watts, Stewart, Frederick, et. al from last year, he's very encouraged about or line backing corps.

7. The D-lineman from Houston, Mike Jones, was very fast and active in the clips. Kind of reminded me of a shorter version of Jevon Kearse, the way he was throwing bodies around. Of course Brian Soi is a known quantity to us and we're excited about him. Mick said BYU was trying to convince the Soi brothers (Brian and Justin) to go to BYU right up to the last minute.

Tom McMahon said three things helped us in recruiting this year. The letters W, A, and C. Several players committed this year who may not have in years past because of our upcoming affiliation in the WAC.

2004 Utah State Football Signees (Feb. 4 - Final List)

Name Pos. Ht Wt. Exp. Hometown (High School/Last School)

D.J. Brookter* LB 6-1 241 JC Fresno, Calif. (Bullard HS/Fresno JC)

Jarrett Bush DB 6-1 190 JC Vacaville, Calif. (Will C. Wood HS/American River JC)

Tanner Cooley TE 6-2 225 HS Smithfield, Utah (Sky View HS)

Marcus Crawford RB 6-1 208 JC Newbury Park, Calif. (Newbury Park HS/College of the Canyons)

Brent Deladurantey* OL 6-3 315 JC Whittier, Calif. (La Serna HS/Cerritos JC)

Chris Forbes Ath. 5-11 185 HS Miami, Fla. (Norland HS)

Beau Herbert RB 6-3 215 HS Brigham City, Utah (Box Elder HS)

Bevan Howard LB 6-1 230 HS Scottsdale, Ariz. (Saguaro HS)

Kevin Jones DB 5-10 175 JC Covington, Wash. (Kentwood HS/College of the Canyons)

Michael Jones DL 6-2 310 HS Houston, Texas (Chavez HS)

James Lewis WR 6-0 185 HS Venice, Calif. (Venice HS)

Lawrence Lovelace* WR 5-11 170 JC Fontana, Calif. (A,B, Miller HS/Chaffey JC)

Emmanuel Marc RB 5-10 185 JC Spring Valley, N.Y. (Spring Valley HS/Hudson Valley JC)

Rod McNeal WR 5-8 185 JC Lakeland, Fla. (Lake Gibson HS/Compton JC)

Leslie Mongo* DB 6-0 186 JC Ramsey, N.J. (Ramsey HS/Santa Rosa JC)

Otis Nelson Ath. 6-3 205 HS Salt Lake City, Utah (Hunter HS)

Cole Nielson QB 6-0 180 HS Pocatello, Idaho (Highland HS)

Phil Poloa RB 6-0 185 HS Sandy, Utah (Jordan HS)

Terrell Richards WR 6-0 205 TR Salt Lake City, Utah (Hunter HS/Oregon)

Justin Schlimgen* OL 6-2 305 JC Camarillo, Calif. (Camarillo HS/Moorpark JC)

Brian Soi TE 6-4 290 HS Provo, Utah (TImpview HS/Hargrave Military Academy)

Justin Soi TE 6-4 240 HS Provo, Utah (Timpview HS)

Sione Tavake FB 5-11 270 JC Woodside, Calif. (Woodside HS/San Mateo JC)

Mark Watterson WR 6-0 165 HS Hyrum, Utah (Mountain Crest HS)

Ryan Wilson* TE 6-3 243 JC Rio Linda, Calif. (Rio Linda HS/American River JC)

* - Signed in December, 2003

Ustate Aggies Top Stories