LAS VEGAS (ABC4 Sports) – The Mountain West Conference champion Utah State Aggies broke out some jewelry Thursday at MWC Media Days.
Both quarterback Logan Bonner and defensive lineman Hale Motu’apuaka wore their championship rings in Las Vegas.
“This is the first time I’ve worn it since I got it, actually,” Bonner said. “We don’t try to wear it too much, but for stuff like this, you’ve got to let people know.”
Bonner liked what he felt last season holding that Mountain West Conference championship trophy, and he wants to do it again.
“It felt real as soon as I got up on stage after the game,” Bonner said. “It was five and a half or six years of waiting for me. A lot of emotions coming out.”
“Coming back into the locker room, you just see the smiles and the smirks on the coaches faces, the players faces,” said Motu’apuaka. “You just look at each other like, wow, we really did that. We were just so proud of ourselves. It was truly a great experience.”
But after such an incredible turnaround in which the Aggies went from one win in 2020 to 11 wins in 2021, Utah State isn’t going to sneak on anybody this season.
“Every year is a different year,” Bonner said. “We know last year has nothing to do with this year’s team. We have new guys, new replacements, some new coaches. So I think the whole goal is just to restart.”
“One thing we’ve done a good job at is putting last year to the side because this is a new team, it’s a new season,” said Motu’apuaka. “Anything can happen, so we’ve just got to stay humble.”
After setting five single-season school records last season including most yards passing (3,628) and most touchdown passes (36), Bonner has made several national quarterback watch lists. But he’s not paying too much attention to those.
“You want to say you don’t look at it and you don’t see it, but yeah, I see it,” Bonner said. “In this day and age, you’re tagged in it, you see it and you look who else is on it. But at the end of the day, those only come if you win.”
Utah State won 11 games last year, and yet Utah State was picked 3rd in their division, and no Aggie made the preseason all-conference first team.
“We like it like that,” said Motu’apuaka. “We have this underdog mentality, so we’re not surprised by any of the pre-season rankings. We just like to go out there do our best and however people think is how they think.”
Utah State kicks off the 2021 season August 27th at home against UConn.