USU football makes an impression during recruiting visit
Ryan Watson hasn't had much time out of the sunshine in his life, hailing from Alabama and playing football at Golden West College. When he spent his weekend in Logan, the subzero temperatures got to him, but didn't deter him.
"It was freezing," he said. "But that's sacrifice you've got to make playing DI ball."
Watson, a junior college receiver, was one of six football recruits at Utah State this weekend on official visits. The chilly weather didn't cool him on the program itself, which he said on Sunday has now moved into his lead spot.
"They're the frontrunner," said Watson, who expects to make his Division I choice by the end of the month. "It's great to know they have JC upperclassmen come in and lead the way for the younger guys. I had a real good vibe from the coaches as well as the players."
Watson was among three JC recruits, including verbal commits Jeremy Morris and Marwin Evans who are both cornerbacks. High school prospects also came by: quarterback Damion Hobbs, running back Stafon McCray, and running back Rennie Childs.
Watson and Childs were the two prospects who took time to talk to The Tribune about their visit, and both had good things to say. Childs, a senior out of Houston, said it was his first time seeing snow, but he was more excited to meet with coach Matt Wells and the team.
"I can picture living here, it's fun," he said. "I really like Coach Wells. He really liked me when he was the coordinator, and it means a lot that he liked me this whole time and now he's head coach."
The biggest factor for this latest batch of recruits should be other schools: Childs talked about how he was planning to take visits to TCU, Oklahoma State and possibly Oregon, though he doesn't yet have offers from those schools. He does have offers from Houston, Colorado State and Texas State among others.
Hobbs and McCray have talked to programs such as Nebraska, Kentucky and South Florida in the past, according to media reports. And although Evans committed to Utah State last year, he recently tweeted that he got an offer from Wisconsin - a scholarship the Milwaukee native might have trouble passing up.
But Utah State football will only make a mark by competing with the likes of those schools for recruits, so these types of battles could be frequent in the coming years. Even if the Aggies don't win them all, they could land a few big prospects.
At least one left the school feeling like it might be the place for him.
"I love the way the community is involved with every sport, not just football and basketball," Watson said. "It was a great connection."
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon