LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah State football opened training camp with a renewed sense of optimism, as new head coach Blake Anderson takes over, trying to instill a new energy to the program.
“The energy was good and the veterans looked like they knew what we were doing and that is really the test of Day 1,” said Andersen. “Conditioning-wise, being able to hold up to the tempo of practice and the amount of reps we got and the fact that we had a sprint off at the end, and we were still running well, those are all signs that we had a good summer.”
Utah State is coming off a 1-6 season, but they welcomed back 100 players to its first practice, which included returning 18 starters and 15 transfers.
“Nobody stood out, which is a good thing, and nobody looked like they didn’t belong,” Anderson said of the newcomers. “Hunter Reynolds had a pick in one-on-ones, which was good. One of the things you are looking for is did they stand out in a bad way, do they look out of place, do they look like maybe they’re not quite ready mentally to go out and practice, but I didn’t see that. I thought everybody blended in fairly well.”
Reynolds is in his first year with the Aggies as a graduate transfer after spending four years at Michigan and has two years of eligibility remaining.
Another player that caught Anderson’s eye was senior tight end Carson Terrell, who made a pair of dynamic catches, including one in the end zone.
“I think his body is in great shape, he has had a phenomenal summer and has prepared to really enjoy what we are doing. It’s a little different than what he is used to, and he is getting excited about it, and you can see the energy in him,” Anderson said.
Anderson was also asked to access the play of his quarterback group during the first practice.
“I didn’t see a bunch of balls bouncing on the ground,” Anderson said. “We threw a couple more to the white jerseys than we need to, so we need to protect the ball a little better, but all-in-all it wasn’t a bad day.”
As part of the NCAA’s five-day acclimation period, Utah State will again be in shorts and helmets on Saturday, then add shoulder pads on Sunday and Monday. The Aggies’ first practice in full pads will be on Tuesday, Aug. 10.
All fall camp practices – minus two scrimmages – will be closed to the public. Fans are invited to watch Utah State’s first scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 14, at 11 a.m., and its final scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 21, at noon, as part of its annual Family Football Fun Day. Both scrimmages will be held on Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium.
Utah State will open the 2021 season on Saturday, Sept. 4, at Washington State, and begins its home season the following weekend against North Dakota on Friday, Sept. 10. Mountain West play begins for USU the following weekend at Air Force on Saturday, Sept. 18.