Utah State football will have a new coaching vacancy to fill, thanks to the Tennessee Volunteers and one-time Utah State offensive coordinator/now Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel.

According to On3 Sports’ Matt Zenitz, Tennessee is expected to hire USU offensive line coach Micah James as an analyst.

James previously worked under Heupel as a graduate assistant at UCF in 2018 before coming to Utah State with Blake Anderson ahead of the 2021 season (in between those stops, James was the co-offensive line coach at UMass).

Under James’ tutelage, two Aggie linemen — Alfred Edwards and Quazzel White — earned All-Mountain West honorable mention honors in 2021.

Additionally, running behind USU’s O-line, Calvin Tyler Jr. tallied 2,006 yards on 449 carries (4.47 yards per carry) in two seasons in Logan, becoming just the 11th player in USU history to break the 2,000-yard barrier.

James isn’t the first Aggie coach that has needed replacing this offseason.

Utah State recently announced the hiring of former University of Utah standout Tevita Finau as the program’s new defensive tackles coach.

The Aggies have had to replace a lot this offseason, recently rating No. 103 in the country in returning production, per ESPN’s Bill Connelly, after losing multiple starting wide receivers, offensive linemen and defensive linemen to either graduation or the transfer portal.

On national signing day, Anderson detailed the need to find an additional offensive tackle, emphasizing how important offensive line play is to the team’s success going forward.

“That is a position we will continue to recruit throughout the spring and summer and potentially take a veteran, a portal player,” Anderson said. “We do have a really healthy, good solid young group of guys that are already here and competing right now, but who knows how that top five ends up.

“... We were 6-7 (last season). We need help everywhere. It starts up front on the O-line. We have to find five guys who can protect the quarterback and help us move the chains. The skill positions are a lot of fun, but if the quarterback turns the ball over and the O-line can’t protect or block, it doesn’t really matter.”