Looking at early impact candidates in Utah State's signing class
Some folks may be asking after seeing a recruiting list: "Yes, but when will I actually get to see them?"
Good question. Some of them? Probably soon.
Coach Matt Wells said he'd prefer not to single anyone out at the press conference, but the truth is a few of the players will be expected to contribute at a higher level than others when they step on campus. The obvious finger points to positions of need and at junior college kids.
At the wide receiver position, particularly, some newcomers are likely to stand out. The top candidate appears to be Ronald Butler, a prolific, explosive wideout at Contra Costa College who was the team's top target last year. He had 13 touchdowns - a statistic Wells paused to make sure the media appreciated - and could compete for one of the starting spots.
"Ronald has speed, he has the ability to high-point a football and has really good ball skills," Wells said. In the bios, Wells commented he expected Butler to contribute to the program right away.
Also at receiver, the Aggies brought in JuCo recruit Ronald Butler and Bingham's Hayden Weichers. Both are more likely to be used in multi-receiver packages early in their careers, particularly in slot roles. Watson may be more of a deep threat, but Weichers also possesses quickness.
At defensive back, Utah State is losing a lot of guys. Expect Marwin Evans to be the frontrunner for a starting spot. Wells called him "a cornerback in a safety's body," and he was coveted by Kansas State and Wisconsin.
He can play a lot of spots on the back end," Wells said. "We expect him to come in and compete for playing time right out of the gate."
Look for Jeremy Morris, another junior college defensive back, to fight for some time at corner. The coaching staff might also try to work in Myron Turner, once a Pac-12 recruit who feel into the Aggies' lap.
Wild cards? Put your money on Rashad Hall, a former Colorado signee who had to go to junior college. He's explosive, fast, big - Wells described him as basically a total package-type player. It's hard to imagine him not getting some looks this summer at the running back spot. He talked about both Karris Johnson and Hall when discussing who might make an impact.
"I do think that they are talented enough and sometimes something clicks really quick and sometimes it doesn't," Wells said. "It is about opportunity and it is about taking advantage of opportunity. It also has to do with people in the program and we will see how these other four or five kids do this spring and the progress that they make."
It's also a solid bet that Keylon Hollis, Chuckie Keeton's high school teammate who signed out of Bakersfield College, could get looks as a pass-rush specialist.
There's only one way to really know which recruit can be a first-year phenom: Wait and see.
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon
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