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Aggies will use 2022 recruiting class to replace stellar group of departing seniors

Second-year coach Blake Anderson has holes to fill heading into signing day on Wednesday

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Utah State coach Blake Anderson taps QB Logan Bonner on the head during game against San Jose State, Nov. 13, 2021.

Utah State coach Blake Anderson, left, taps quarterback Logan Bonner on the head during game against San Jose State Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, San Jose, Calif. Bonner will be back under center for the Aggies next season along with a new crop of players who will be committing to the Aggies on signing day Wednesday.

Tony Avelar, Associated Press

Wednesday’s national signing day projects to be a busy one for Blake Anderson and the Utah State Aggies.

Having already signed 10 players to letters of intent during the early signing period in December, the 2022 Aggies recruiting class has more players waiting to be welcomed to the program.

Twelve unsigned players have verbal commitments to Utah State and are expected to put pen to paper Wednesday — many of which come from in-state schools. Timpview offensive linemen Irae Leilua and James Aloisio headline the players expected to sign for the Aggies, along with Northridge linebacker Maximus Fonoti-Maikui and Green Canyon offensive tackle Bryce Radford.

With the additional commits expected to sign this week, Utah State’s 2022 class features eight offensive and defensive linemen, an intentional effort from Anderson, who said in December that the class would reflect his staff’s desire to “build the fronts.”

The squad will need some help in the front with multiple seniors departing on both sides of the ball, and it appears this year’s class will give Anderson and his staff plenty of options from which to choose.

Another group that will need bolstering is a receiving corps that was one of the nation’s best last season, with seniors Deven Thompkins, Derek Wright and Brandon Bowling on their way out.

Among the players already signed or committed, the 2022 class has only one player listed as a receiver, but it is possible that one of four players listed as athletes may end up playing wideout. If Utah State lands any new commitments Wednesday, receiver may be a position to watch.

The Aggies, however, may be content with just using the transfer portal as the primary means to address the team’s wide receiver exodus. The program landed two Power Five transfer receivers in Maryland’s Brian Cobbs and Alabama’s Xavier Williams.

In addition, the team has scattered roles that need filling throughout the roster that had 24 seniors last season. The size of the class — which currently projects at 29 players including transfers, according to 247 Sports — reflects just how much turnover the roster will be facing next year.

The team will not need to replace its quarterback, with starter Logan Bonner set to return for his senior season, but Anderson and his staff haven’t been afraid to recruit a potential successor. Quarterbacks Bishop Davenport (from Spring, Texas) and Orem’s Chase Tuatagaloa signed their letters of intent during the early signing period, while Wyoming transfer Levi Williams announced his commitment to the program in late December.

Though it remains to be seen if the Aggies will add any more last-minute recruits, this year’s class will officially begin to take final shape on Wednesday.