LOGAN — Jordan Nathan caught the ball with his elbows.
With all apologies to Dominik Eberle and his game-winning 30-yard field goal — the first game-winner by an Aggie since 1998 — there was no more shocking a play in Utah State’s 37-35 win over Fresno State on Nov. 9 than when Nathan hauled in a 38-yard reception with two Bulldog defenders draped on him, using his elbows instead of his hands.
“I didn’t realize I caught it with my elbows,” Nathan said with a laugh while recalling the catch. “It wasn’t until I looked at the picture, that’s when I realized, ‘Dang, I caught it with my elbows.’ That was amazing.”
That catch, absurd as it was, might not be the best Aggie catch made this season. It could be any number of Siaosi Mariner receptions, including his 17-yard toe-tapping touchdown against Wake Forest, or perhaps his one-handed 35-yard snag against LSU, a catch that was on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Week. There is also his eight-yard back-shoulder touchdown against Fresno State, nothing to shake a stick at.
Or maybe it is Caleb Repp’s first career touchdown, a 360-degree snag in the end zone against Colorado State. Then again, it could be when back-up/potential starting quarterback Henry Colombi found Derek Wright for a 30-yard touchdown against Stony Brook, a touchdown that doubled as the first of Wright’s career.
Given its nature, there is also every chance in the world that Nathan’s reception is the most impressive.
Debate among fans is one thing, but which catch do the Aggies themselves consider the best made this season?
Here are their thoughts.
Caleb Repp vs. Colorado State
Siaosi Mariner — “There have been some pretty crazy ones. You have Caleb against Colorado State, the little 360-degree catch. That was a good catch.”
Siaosi Mariner vs. Fresno State
Caleb Repp — “Siaosi against Fresno is No. 4 for me. Oh yeah, that was good.”
Siaosi Mariner vs. LSU
DJ Williams — “I will say Siaosi in the LSU game, the one-handed catch he had. That was a nice one. That one made SportsCenter top-10 so that was probably his best one.”
Jordan Nathan — “Obviously, No. 80, Siaosi Mariner had a one-handed catch against LSU that was pretty fantastic. That was on SportsCenter, so mine is not beating that.”
Cam Lampkin — “That was good, but I have seen a lot of one-handed catches.”
Cam Haney — “When he caught it in the LSU game, that was good, but everyone knows how that game went.”
Savon Scarver — “That was nice. I forgot about that one. That is a good one right there.”
Jordan Nathan vs. Fresno State
Siaosi Mariner — “I’m going to have to go with J Na’s (Nathan), just because of the difficulty on that catch and then he got hit too. And he hung onto the ball. Ima go with J Na’s with the catch of the year.”
Gerold Bright — “I think he got lucky, if you ask me, but I’ve got to go with that one. A lot of things happened and he was just a tough guy. I have to go with that Jordan Nathan catch. There have been some great catches but I have to roll with that one. Too many elements played into that one.”
Caleb Repp — “J Na’s, that was stupid. That took crazy concentration.”
Cam Haney — “That Jordan Nathan one, that one was pretty good.”
Siaosi Mariner vs. Wake Forest
Savon Scarver — “I say tied for No. 1 is Jordan Nathan against Fresno State and Siaosi against Wake Forest, that toe tap. Siaosi jumped in the air, was literally this close to the line and then just tapped it. I think those two are tied for first right now.”
Cam Lampkin — “The best catch was probably Siaosi in the Wake Forest game. The little toe tap. I liked that. The way he was able to maintain his ball, get is toe in and still maintain possession of the ball. That was good.”
Caleb Repp — “It is the Wake Forest one. That one was ridiculous.”
Cam Haney — “I think, Wake Forest catch by Siaosi. Yeah. I think he is very consistent at it, his catch radius is crazy. All back shoulder fades, I think he has caught them all. He is consistent with those catches, it isn’t even that amazing no more, it is normal. He has the best hands. Wake Forest was way better than any other. The intensity of the game, us having to score and him going against an ACC defender. The Wake Forest game was a different vibe and to see him make that amazing catch in that game, that was good.”
Aggies on the air
Utah State (6-4, 5-1) vs. Boise State (8-1, 6-0)
Maverik Stadium, Logan
Saturday, 8:30 p.m. MST
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: KZNS 1280 AM