Utah State football notes: Chuckie Keeton's throwing motion, new depth chart, and more (VIDEO)
Logan • For Tuesday's paper, I'm breaking down how Utah's new-look offense, under coordinator Dennis Erickson, matches up with Utah State's veteran defense. But since not everything from Monday's Aggies press conference can make it into the newspaper, here's a few other notes:
• Chuckie Keeton worked on his throwing motion. The junior quarterback said last season, his arm was dipping and lengthening his delivery. He compared it unfavorably to Tim Tebow's passing release, and said it contributed to a few turnovers, including a fumble against Utah last season. It's one of the things he's been shoring up this offseason: "It's definitely been a focus point to tighten it up a little bit and hopefully get the ball out a little bit faster. It's going to help out with the timing with the receivers and ultimately to help beat defenses."
• The Aggies are keeping an eye on Trevor Reilly. The senior is nothing if not versatile: He'll be switching between defensive end and linebacker for the Utes this season again. He notched nine tackles and recovered a fumble last year in Logan, and his multiple positions make him more dangerous: "He can put his hand down in pass rush, he can stand up in pass rush, he can drop back into coverage. He reminds me a lot of Kyler [Fackrell]. Those two are really good players, and you've got to account for them on every play."
• Utah State released a new two-deep chart on Monday, and there are not many surprises. In fact, every pre-camp starter is still listed at the top of his respective position. Some highlights from my perspective: Tay Glover-Wright is the top corner opposite Nevin Lawson, Terrell Thompson is still in one of the outside linebacker spots after being pushed by backups, and Nick Diaz is Utah State's field goal guy (Kickoff man is still being determined). Wells said camp hadn't changed many impressions he had going into August, which was a positive.
• At the moment, it doesn't appear true freshmen will play major roles. Kennedy Williams is on the depth chart at returner, but Travis Reynolds, Nevin Lawson and Glover-Wright are quarterback Darrell Garretson is on, but Craig Harrison appears to be Keeton's main backup this season. Hayden Weichers, despite having a strong camp at slot, was replaced on the depth chart by Shaan Johnson. Ricky Ali'ifua, returned from his mission, is on the depth chart at nose guard, but the line is a deep unit already. Wells previously said he would evaluate the freshmen up to game day, and possibly even two or three weeks into the season. Obviously, injuries or other in-season happenings could change some roles, but to my eyes, the Aggies might have enough depth to preserve and redshirt some incoming talent.
• Matt Wells isn't feeling butterflies yet. The head coach said again on Monday that the magnitude of his first game as head coach hasn't hit him yet. Besides not having a lot of time to think about those implications, Wells said, in his experience, nervousness just means not being prepared. He said he has confidence in how he and his program have gotten ready for the season opener: "As long as you've trained right and prepared right, you'll be ready for the game and to react to various situations. We'll all be OK."
• It's personal for a lot of Aggies, including Connor Williams. If you read the Tribune's story on Williams last week, you may recall that he was at one time a fan of the Utes. He watched them play Pittsburgh when he was in high school, and his uncle, Brian Wise, played for Utah in the 80s. Williams said the game is definitely a personal one, as you can watch in the video above. He added that his uncle is coming down for the game, and he'll be rooting - at least this year - against his alma mater: "His teammates will give him a hard time, but he'll be wearing blue."
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon
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