He was a late-bloomer, a kid that didn't get a chance to play much varsity until his senior year.
But Landon Horne was find taking his career step-by-step, and now the Kaysville native is enrolled at Utah State, preparing to play Division I football this fall.
"It's been a long road," he said. "We were obviously really excited as a family."
Horne, a 6-foot-3 tight end, has signed with the Aggies, bringing his talents to Logan after a redshirt year, an LDS Church mission and a standout freshman season at Snow College. Originally not getting much attention out of high school, Horne also had offers from New Mexico, Weber State and Indiana State among others at the time of his signing.
The Tribune reported his commitment last week, but Horne opened up for comment over the weekend.
"There's been a lot of changes at Utah State since I graduated," he said. "Not just in the coaching staff, but the way the players have transformed. Now they're trying to win conference championships. I looked at it as a great opportunity."
Horne was a basketball and football player at Davis High School, but his career only took off this fall with the Badgers. He had 39 catches for 406 yards and 5 touchdowns, all team-leading marks.
His time in junior college prepared him well for Utah State's schemes, he said. One of the big factors that gave the Aggies an edge is how they use several two tight end sets - with one on the line blocking or running routes, and one often in the backfield - and Horne said he sees himself possibly playing either role.
"It helped me a lot to go to Snow College, building that strength and experience," he said. "Now that I'm able to know and understand more about schemes, I understand how the game is built at a higher level."
Horne went on two unofficial visits, coming to games against Colorado State and Wyoming. He was most impressed by the football facilities, not only the multimillion dollar weight room and academic complexes, but the proximity of all the facilities to one another. He liked the idea that his football experience would be centralized.
Horne will have three years to play three seasons with Utah State. His Hudl film is available here.
— Kyle Goon