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Aggies still uncertain at QB, RB

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Aggie quarterback Leon Jackson III (7) pitches the ball to running back Aaron Lesue during USU's final scrimmage Friday.

Aggie quarterback Leon Jackson III (7) pitches the ball to running back Aaron Lesue during USU’s final scrimmage Friday.

Eli Lucero, Herald Journal

LOGAN — After just 350 live snaps in spring practice, which concluded with 55 plays Friday in the Aggies' final scrimmage, Utah State football coach Brent Guy doesn't feel comfortable naming his starting quarterback, and the same can be said for the running-back spot.

The race, which was thought to be between Leon Jackson II and Sean Setzer when spring drills began in late March, is now a three-man race with emerging Jase McCormick, and it's too early to designate the man.

"I think it is too close to call and we need more time," Guy said. "I think it's not fair to come out here and after eight live practices (and then) we're going to make a decision at quarterback."

All three fared well Friday, and no one threw an interception.

"I feel we've had a real good race at quarterback throughout the spring," said Setzer, who also liked the fact the starter has yet to be named.

"He might name a starter and the guys behind him might think 'There is no chance for me,' so they might not play as well as they would. Or the starter might get named and get lackadaisical with it. When you feel like you have to play your best every day or else someone is going to take your spot really, it pushes you to play as well and smart as you can and it makes it fun as well."

Setzer, a junior college transfer, completed 5-of-8 passes for 64 yards and threw the only touchdown pass of the scrimmage — a 22-yard to Nnamdi Gwacham. He also rushed three times for 24 yards.

Jackson went 4-for-4 for 30 yards, while McCormick was 2-for-2 for 10 yards and rushed for five.

McCormick's play over the last three weeks has caught the attention of the coaching staff.

"I think Jase has thrown his hat into the ring with the way he plays because he doesn't make a lot of mistakes," Guy said of the former Class 5A MVP from Northridge High School. "Jase finds a way to make plays."

Former Timpview High quarterback Mike Affleck completed 1-of-2 passes for 12 yards.

All four quarterbacks combined to go 12-of-16 for 116 yards, and 10 players caught at least one pass. Running back Jacob Actkinson had two receptions, as did Tony Harkey.

Curtis Marsh got the bulk of the work at running back, with 10 carries for 33 yards and two scores, while Aaron Lesue had nine carries for 28 yards and one touchdown.

"Curtis Marsh has been a good surprise at running back," Guy said.

Derrvin Speight had four carries for six yards, and Actkinson had three carries for six yards.

Again, that race is too close to call.

"I don't think anybody today clearly dominated at the running-back position," Guy said. "(It's) another position we have a lot of names and not a lot of experience."

The Aggies, who finished 1-11 last year, open the season Aug. 30 when they host UNLV.

E-mail: jhinton@desnews.com