LOGAN — With today's expected signings, Utah State football coach Brent Guy is preparing for now as well as putting a little away for the future.
Following his team's 3-8 season, Guy said his main focus would be on running backs, linebackers and offensive linemen, and his list will include a little of each.
Marcus Cross, a running back from Garden City Community College, signed with the Aggies during the early signing period, and Guy believes Cross will make an immediate impact.
"Marcus was an athlete I recruited out of high school when I was at Arizona State," Guy said. "In high school he ran a 10.5 100 and was a very explosive running back. He has gained some weight and is a different style of running back now. He can add to our offense immediately."
Cross (5-foot-11, 210 pounds) rushed for 1,163 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games last year. He was named honorable mention JC Gridwire all-American.
"When I visited Utah State the players made me feel like I was at home," Cross said. "The coaches made me feel great and I felt like it was a great place for me to go."
Today, the Aggies are expecting to sign a pair of high school backs in Jake Actkinson and Ryan Montague.
Initially, the Aggies are hoping Ty Rogers of Colorado is the first of many linemen to ink with them this year in an effort to replace four-year starter Donald Penn, who played in the Senior Bowl in Hawaii last week. The Aggies also lost Ryan DeQuillettes and Nick George from the line.
Prospect Paul Igboeli is expected to sign today and will help the linebacker corps.
The Aggies' main prize, however, is all-American quarterback Riley Nelson, who prepped in the shadows of Romney Stadium at neighboring Logan High.
Nelson (6-1, 195), recipient of the Deseret Morning News' Mr. Football award, set nine state records for the Grizzlies: career total TDs (130), career passing TDs (79), season total TDs (84), season passing TDs (53), season completions (277), season passing yards (4,041), season total yards (5,815), single-game completions (38) and single-game TD passes (7).
He will most likely leave on an LDS Church mission in a year, so he'll be with the Aggies in 2009. By that time, Jerod Walker, who is entering his sophomore season, and Leon Jackson III, entering his junior year, will be gone, making way for the hometown standout.
Nelson isn't the only Logan product expected to sign with the Aggies. He will be joined by teammate Monte Keiaho, a defensive end.