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Utah State football: Summer is over, work begins soon for Aggies

Published July 22, 2014 8:53 am

College football • Mountain West Media Days kick off Tuesday in Las Vegas.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Las Vegas • Utah State coach Matt Wells summed up his summer in one brief statement.

"It was good, and now it's over," he said.

So it begins. The Mountain West Conference's annual media days, held Tuesday and Wednesday in Las Vegas, are the signal that preparations for the 2014 season are just a few days from beginning.

The Aggies open preseason camp on Tuesday, Aug. 5, from 2-4 p.m. All practices during fall camp are open to the public.

Before then, Wells predicts he'll be answering a lot of questions about quarterback Chuckie Keeton's health, starting with about, oh "20 questions on Tuesday," he joked.

He is probably about 20 short as the dynamic quarterback will surely be one of the more popular figures at the MWC events this week.

Keeton wasn't at full strength for spring ball as he continued his recovery from the knee injury he suffered on Oct. 4 against BYU, but the senior is healthy now, Wells said.

"He will be at full strength," Wells said. "His summer workouts went well."

Keeton, who is on the watch list for virtually every major preseason quarterback award, will be joined by senior linebacker Zach Vigil for the MWC media days.

The Mountain West Network will stream interviews from players every day at 5 p.m. and ESPN3 will stream a show at noon on Wednesday that will feature Wells and Keeton. The Salt Lake Tribune and UtahStateAggies.com will also have live coverage.

The Aggies, who return 14 starters, are one of the teams pegged to give Boise State a battle for the top spot in the Mountain division after going 9-5 a year ago.

It was a solid finish for a team that tied the 1960 and 1961 teams for the second-most wins in school history.

Wells is optimistic the Aggies can be just as strong, if not stronger, this season. The biggest concerns going into camp are finding depth at tight end, wide receiver and offensive line, Wells said.

"Depth is always a concern for us," he said. "That is something we always need to work on. We need to work on our different packages too, whether it's nickel, dime or extra guys elsewhere."

The receivers were already a question mark with the graduation of Travis Reynolds and Travis Van Leeuwen, but the health of the position became a greater concern last week when sophomore receiver Ronald Butler was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and junior Bruce Natson is facing theft charges after he reportedly took money out of a teammate's bank account and deposited it into his own.

Wells would not comment on the players' situation other than to confirm the two remain with the team. —

Key USU Dates

Tues-Wed • Mountain West Media Days

Aug. 5 • Camp opens from 2-4 p.m.

Aug. 31 • Season opener at Tennessee, 5 p.m. MT

Sept. 6 • Home opener, vs. Idaho St., 6 p.m.