I sat with the Duke and several others last night as we listened to the coaches talk and watched the video. Saw some great things, saw some good things, and wondered about a couple of things.
Here's a little info on each player we signed.
Scott Barrett DE, 6-5, 225, HS, Hurricane, Utah (Hurricane HS)
Tom McMahon said he went to the Tooele to watch the Brady kid and noticed this big defensive lineman running around for Hurricane. He said geez, the kids got big calves, which will support a lot of weight and he changes directions really nice. Could be a prospect. Well before the game is out, Barrett had taken over the game. Tom said he thought, "dang, I've got to keep an eye on this kid."
Jimmy Bohm TE, 6-3, 245, HS, Palm Desert, Calif. (Palm Desert HS)
They envision this kid playing the role of an "H" back, doing some fullback style blocking and catching passes.
Andy Carlsen DB, 6-0, 195, HS, Coalville, Utah (North Summit HS)
Is going to go on a mission. They are listing him as a DB. They talked a lot about his offense, but showed video of him tackling guys and intercepting passes as a Safety. Looked okay.
Casey Crookston OL, 6-5, 300, HS, Smithfield, Utah (Sky View HS)
Not very highly recruited, which surprised them a little bit. Skyview was kind of average his years, and that might of had something to do with it. Kind of guy that drives his man down the field and then pancakes him at the end. They think he'll be pretty good because he's got a mean streak.
*Victor Eti OL, 6-3, 320, JC, San Jose, Calif. (Overfelt HS/West Valley JC)
They are counting on him to come in and start at left tackle this year. Another giant guy who pushes his guy around like a bulldozer. And he's not undersized, like Eric Gwilliam, Grant Calverly and some of the others they brought in in the past were. Another guy with a nasty streak.
Will Fausel TE, 6-2, 225, HS, Shingle Springs, Calif. (Ponderosa HS)
Another H-back type they're excited about. Said he had a knack for getting into the end zone.
Eddie Gilmore DB, 5-9, 180, HS, Claremont, Calif. (Claremont HS)
Size is typical of most cornerbacks, but McMahon told us after he might be one of the best cover corners we've ever had here, and he has excellent speed. He can also return kicks. He was really excited to have him.
*Justin Hamblin PK, 5-10, 165, TR, Clearfield, Utah (Clearfield HS/Utah)
They said he has dedicated his life to beating Utah with a winning field goal. We got him because of Coach Kotulski's relationship with Sean McNabb, who used to coach special teams at Utah under Ronnie Mac. They said his kicks go out of the end-zone, his punts will average 42 yards, and he's got such mental toughness that pressure doesn't shake him at all. Gee, sounds like Dene Garner is back!
*Raymond Hicks WR, 5-10, 190, JC, Kansas City, Kan. (Sumner Academy/Coffeyville JC)
On the video this kid returned kicks, ran out of the backfield, caught passes, and played cornerback and intercepted a pass. A multi-talented player sloted for WR duty . . . but who knows.
Leon Jackson, III, QB, 6-2, 185, HS, Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Poly HS)
This guy not only QB's the #2 HS team in the country, but he is very cool and looks older than his years in the pocket. When they arrived to sign him, Washington had two coaches there trying to convince him to sign with them. Runs a 4.5 40, so he's mobile, but Mick says he has such great presense in the pocket he may not have to much. THEY REALLY LIKE HIM! Need I say more.
Steve Jacson II OL, 6-1, 280, HS, Fontana, Calif. (Kaiser HS)
A little on the short side, but is tough and mean. Son of former Aggie. Kids HS coach was the same guy who coached his dad at USU. Slated to play center for us.
Vaughn Mansfield DB, 6-3, 190, HS, Washington, D.C. (Woodson HS/Hargrave Military Academy)
A kid we probably shouldn't have gotten. Big and rangy, kind of reminds me a lot of Johndale Carty, though maybe not as fast. Another kid we got because of coach Kotulski. His school sent 14 players to major D1A schools this year, and has seven more they project going next year. They told Mick, "We look forward to having you come back and see some of our kids play next year."
Tamarkus McElvane WR, 6-2, 180, HS, Oakland, Calif. (McClymonds HS)
Tall and fast. Video was very grainy for it was kind of hard to see. He got into the endzone a lot, I'll say that.
*Tyrone McKinney RB, 5-7, 180, JC, Long Beach, Calif. (Jordan HS/L.A. Harbor JC)
Short but very fast. Runs like Roger Fernandez, with a very quick burst. Ran away from people, although he was caught from behind on one play we watched. Has been injured a lot, so it soudns like the Aggies are planning to use him as a situational player.
Tony Pennyman WR, 5-10, 180, HS, Hayward, Calif. (Hayward HS)
Another speed burner. Excellent kick returner. All over the field, played some corner, too.
Brett Pollock, DT, 6-2, 312, El Camino, CA (El Camino JC)
Mick calls this player a difference maker. He says he will have a major impact on the defensive line this next year, making major plays. He is really excited that we got this guy. Signed with BYU but never played there. Told Mick he just wants to play, will keep his nose clean, and will go out and kick some a$$,
Matt Reese OL, 6-7, 315, HS, Bakersfield, Calif. (Centennial HS)
Picture Mount Logan running around on the field? They called him "Mountain Matt" Reese. He didn't look as slow as I thought he might, but he's not a speed burner, either. He has a lot of ability, great drive, and, as Hoover said, he's meaner than hell. They said this kid was recruited by every school in the country, until the bitter end. He played in the California-Florida All-Star game, one of the most prestigious in the country, and played well. So they feel they have taken advantage of an opportunity provided them by other schools. They think this kid will be a great one.
Kevin Robinson DB, 6-1, 180, HS Fresno, Calif. (Hoover HS)
This guy was wanted by Fresno State and several PAC 10 schools. We got him for one reason: His brother is John Rushing, USU's new D-back coach. This kid wanted out of the city and so he came with his bro. We're the beneficiaries, and this is a big time talent.
Mitch Rudder OL, 6-3, 260, HS, Nampa, Idaho (Skyview HS)
This kid will serve a mission, first. They see him as a long-term deal, but believe he will be a good lineman over time. A two-time all-stater in Idaho's biggest league.
Antonio Taylor DB, 6-1, 190, HS, Pomona, Calif. (Ganesha HS)
Another excellent cover corner with outstanding speed and skill. Also a kick returner. Rated high from many sources. McMahon believes will be a contributor all four years he plays.
Jake Thompson OL, 6-5, 280, HS, Redlands, Calif. (Redlands HS)
Big mean, and long. Initially thought he was going to sign with UNLV and told all suitors that. Well, UNLV went another direction and now he didn't have anywhere else to go. One of our coaches new his HS coach, got in on this kid and we got him. They think they can add a lot of meat to this frame. He will be a good one.
*Barry Tolli WR, 6-1,205, JC, Newbury Park, Calif. (Newbury Park HS/Moorpark JC)
They feel they may have another Kevin Curtis here. This kid looks like Curtis, runs like him, catches the ball like him. They are really excited about the potential he brings to the table. They feel we have potentially a great player.
Elliot Tupea OL, 6-3, 320, TR, West Valley, Utah (Hunter HS/San Jose State)
This is a guy that wanted to go to USU in the first place, but we didnt have a scholarship. So he went to San Jose, played spring ball, didn't like it, and came back. He played on the scout team last year and let the coaches know on a consistent basis that he hated it and couldn't wait until he was starting NEXT YEAR. He and Eti are the left side of the line this coming year. That's my opinion.
Rick Young DB, 6-1, 196, HS, Post Falls, Idaho (Post Falls HS)
This guy was like a missile streaking around the field. If it had the ball, he tackled it. If the ball was thrown toward it, he defensed it, or intercepted it. A great player with great instincts. I am really excited about the possibilities this kid brings.
There was one other player, I think his name was James Dawson, a DT. About 6-2, 260. HS player. Big Butt, quick burst. They think they can add weight to his frame easily, and with his speed, he'll do very well in the 3-4.
Why no linebackers? Coach Reeves felt that with the shift to the 3-4 defense, that he and Coach Kotulski felt they had all the people on hand that they needed to carry out that defense. Kotulski believes he can clean up the technique problems and motivate the players they have to give them the performance they need. Do I agree. I don't know. I guess we'll see.
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