USU Football: Aggies have another solid outing in scrimmage
Logan • Utah State receiver JoJo Natson remains off limits to media members following his legal issues this summer. However, the junior continues to make a big statement with his play.
Natson, who recently pleaded guilty to theft from a teammate, helped the offense get off to a great start in Saturday’s scrimmage.
He caught the opening pass and completed the drive with a touchdown catch via Chuckie Keeton. It appears, as Utah State coach Matt Wells had hoped, Natson is more focused than ever and ready to make amends for his mistake on the football field.
Natson led the Aggies last year with 59 receptions for 395 yards and two touchdowns last year.
Who was hot: JoJo Natson caught the first pass of the scrimmage then scored the first touchdown as he and Chuckie Keeton hooked up several times.
Who was missed: The Aggies held out linebacker Nick Vigil and defensive end B.J. Larsen along with offensive linemen Taani Fisilau and Austin Stephens for precautionary reasons.
What is next: The Aggies have two-a-days on Monday and Thursday and another scrimmage on Tuesday starting at 6 p.m.
"He is doing a better job of catching the ball with his hands in front of his body," Utah State coach Matt Wells. "He has really improved that the last couple of weeks."
Utah State’s offense in general had a good showing in the assessment of Keeton and Wells, although Wells said the No. 1 defense had some of the better moments.
"No one won the day really and that’s the way it should be," he said.
Running back Joe Hill was productive again, making a nice reception and bulldozing his way through the Aggies’ defense on several occasions.
"He is playing really well now," Wells said. "He was making some good cuts."
With just two weeks to go until the opener at Tennessee, Wells said the Aggies will start focusing on cleaning up their offense and roles in the coming week.
"I’m excited," he said. "We’ve exceeded expectations in some ways with our younger players. We have two or three who are banged up we wish weren’t banged up, but that is life in the fast lane with a physical camp. We wish that wasn’t the case but it is. Now we have to continue to clean up some of our roles and the offense so we can be more consistent."
Out at outside linebacker
Alex Huerta, a 6-foot-2, 223-pound redshirt freshman slotted to start at outside linebacker for the Aggies, watched from the sidelines with his left arm tucked inside his jersey following shoulder surgery that will unfortunately keep him out for the year.
Huerta was dubbed as one of the most improved players on the team and was expected to have a big impact.
"He is a tremendous young kid with a bright future and he is going to be missed," Wells said.
His backup on the depth chart is Ian Tagiai, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound freshman from West Valley City, but Wells said all of the linebackers are versatile enough to fill in for him.