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USU: AGGIE COACHES WILL GREET LOTS OF NEW FACES ON OFFENSE.

SHARE USU: AGGIE COACHES WILL GREET LOTS OF NEW FACES ON OFFENSE.

Offensive coordinator Jim Zorn hasn't even met some of his new linemen yet. That's how new this Utah State offense is as the Aggies hold their first full-team practices of the 1994 preseason today at 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. near Romney Stadium.

But, says coach Charlie Weatherbie, whose team is defending Big West Conference co-champ, defending Las Vegas Bowl champ and still riding last season's six-game win streak, "I've really been impressed with this group of newcomers, especially the offensive linemen. This is certainly the most gifted recruiting class, from an athletic standpoint."There are going to be a lot of new faces in the starting lineup, but we're talented enough to make another run at the conference title," Weatherbie says. "Our chances are as good as the other favorites, Southwestern Louisiana and New Mexico State." USL was favored by both BWC preseason polls, with the Ags second by coaches, third by media.

Weatherbie, Zorn and defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas are working with 105 players today, the NCAA maximum. That number includes 19 recruits and 14 walkons. Zorn noted one of the walkons, 6-foot-2 Demetrius Steward, has a chance to make the three-deep at flanker.

The freshmen, walkons and transfers reported Tuesday and went through short practices Wednesday and Thursday. The veterans reported Thursday, and all spent Friday at a picture session and orientation meetings. The first padded practices will be on Wednesday.

There were two no-shows, incoming freshman defensive tackle James Gibson and junior wide receiver James Dye, fourth in the BWC in all-purpose yards (1,172) last season and seventh in kickoff return average yardage (20.7). "James Dye elected to give up the game of football," said Weatherbie. "I'm sure we have several players who are anxious to fill his shoes on the return teams." Zorn expressed hope that Dye might still decide to play.

Sophomore Matt Wells is the No. 1 quarterback, with JC transfer Jorge Munoz second and redshirted freshman Aaron Flowers third as the Ags try to replace Anthony Calvillo, now starting in the Canadian Football League. Wells has taken a few snaps, the others none at the Division I level.

The offensive line is untested with only two experienced players, and the tight ends have caught one pass total. The defense is nearly all returning starters except at ends, and three kickers return.