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Steve Luhm and Lya Wodraska
Steve Luhm and Lya Wodraska cover Utah State athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. Lya Wodraska is on twitter at @LyaWodraska, Steve Luhm is on twitter at @sluhm

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Utah State football will wait for in-state signees to make impact

The scene at East High today was one of pageantry on Wednesday morning. Eleven football players signed letters of intent out of the Leopards' prestigious program.

That included two Utah State signees: Tight end Joe Tukuafu and receiver Preston Curtis. Both were integral playmakers in helping East make a run to the 4A state championship this year. But even as they both got very excited for their upcoming careers, the understanding that they're a few years away from playing in Logan is hard to fit in the picture today.

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"It's kind of weird because we're all thinking about college right now," Curtis said. "It's exciting. It's kind of hard to restrain."

While the Aggies have once again put emphasis on getting in-state recruits, the Signing Day class represents a group of promise rather than immediate impact.

Utah State has seven Utah high schoolers in its incoming class or enrolled. Four of them are headed on missions. That includes Curtis, Tukuafu, Lone Peak's Baron Gajkowski and Lehi's Derek Hastings. All four have upside in their athleticism and some of them have great size for the positions they'll be playing, but Utah State won't see them until 2016.

Three others - Stansbury's Chase Christiansen (enrolled early), Hunter's Ian Togiai and Logan's Logan Rice - will be at Utah State this fall but are likely a good distance from getting playing time. All will have to fill out tall lanky frames that aren't yet ready for Saturday.

While anticipation is part of any Signing Day event, some of Utah State's recruits know they'll have to be a little patient. But even knowing what the future holds is reward enough for now, Curtis said.

"It's reassuring to sign," he said. "It's a lot of pressure to try to earn a scholarship. I'm excited to know where I'm coming back to."

Kyle Goon


Twitter: @kylegoon

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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