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‘Who are the playmakers?’ Wide receiver corps still a question mark as Utah State Aggies prepare to open season

Expect to see a large complement of receivers play against Wake Forest as the Aggies hunt for playmakers.

Utah State wide receiver Savon Scarver (center) warms up prior to the game against Wyoming on Saturday, Oct. 20, at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.
Utah State wide receiver Savon Scarver (center) warms up prior to the game against Wyoming on Saturday, Oct. 20, at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.
Wade Denniston, USU Athletic Media Relations

LOGAN — Utah State has questions at wide receiver.

The position group was one of the biggest unknowns on the Aggies’ football team heading into fall camp, and at the close of camp questions remain.

“Wide receiver probably (was the hardest spot to decide starters),” Utah State head coach Gary Andersen said Monday morning at his weekly press conference.

The battle for playing time at wideout was the most competitive of any position group during fall camp, according to Andersen, and it is a competition that is ongoing.

“There was a lot of competition at wideout and there still is a lot of competition at wideout,” Andersen said. “That (group) will become more clear when you play a game. To see exactly when the ball gets in certain kids’ hands, who are the playmakers? That is the challenge.”

Playmaking ability has been an emphasis for the Aggies, with their hurry up and get-the ball-out-quick offensive attack.

“You want to give the playmakers a chance,” said Andersen. “There are a lot of people fighting for wide receiver spots, but they have to catch (the ball), and they have to make plays. In this offense, if you catch it and fall down that doesn’t do much for us. You have to make plays. We will see who is capable of doing that pretty soon.”

Utah State expects to play most, if not all of the team’s available wideouts against Wake Forest Friday, including Siaosi Mariner, Savon Scarver, Jordan Nathan, Taylor Compton, Deven Thompkins, Sean Carter, Ajani Carter and Derek Wright.

“Oh yeah, you’ll roll those guys through,” Andersen said.

Wright, a walk-on from Snow College, drew very positive reviews in camp.

“The real surprise for us is actually a walk-on receiver out of Snow College, Derek Wright,” Utah State offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. said. “He had a great spring, fell off a little bit — his legs got zapped — but he has had a great (fall) camp and he is one who will be in the rotation.”

REDSHIRT PHILOSOPHY: While talking about his wide receivers, Andersen revealed the team’s strategy for how to handle the many true freshmen that litter the Utah State roster.

“A lot of the young kids, we aren’t going to play them just one game,” Andersen said. “You get four games with those brand new kids. Not a lot of those young kids will pop in there and play game one. They don’t need to. They need to travel first, get their feet wet and understand what a game is, what pregame is like and all the stuff that comes with it.

“If they are freshmen and they play in this game then we plan on playing them all year long, not just for four games. That fluctuates and changes, but that is the game plan going in.”

OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: The Aggies announced the team captains for the 2019 season and the choices were not a surprise.

Running back Gerold Bright, linebacker David Woodward, quarterback Jordan Love, placekicker Dominik Eberle and defensive end Tipa Galeai were all chosen.