It’s been an offseason of attrition for the Utah State football team, particularly in terms of losing starting defenders to the NCAA transfer portal.
The exodus has continued since the transfer portal window opened last Saturday — the Aggies have seen three defenders and a wide receiver announce they are entering the portal in recent days, even with Utah State in its final week of spring camp.
That includes cornerbacks Ajani Carter and Dominic Tatum, nickel back Kaleo Neves and wide receiver Martavious “NyNy” Davis.
On Monday afternoon, The Athletic’s Max Olson reported that Utah State had seen 10 defensive starters enter the portal this offseason. Among those departures was the team’s leading tackler in 2022, linebacker AJ Vongphachanh, who recently announced he is transferring to BYU.
Utah State CB Ajani Carter and LB Kaleo Neves have entered the transfer portal, @TheAthletic has learned.— Max Olson (@max_olson) April 17, 2023
The Aggies have now lost 10 defensive players who started games in 2022 to the portal.
Make that 11 with Tatum, whose announcement came after Olson’s report — the senior started four games in 2022.
Neves, who started 12 games last year for the Aggies, was fourth on the team last year with 59 tackles and added seven tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry as a junior.
Neves said he will have two years of eligibility remaining, including a super senior year of eligibility due to the 2020 COVID-19-impacted season.
Carter started 10 games at corner for Utah State in 2022 and finished with 44 tackles, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles, one tackle for loss, an interception and a quarterback hurry. He has one year of eligibility remaining.
Tatum, who played in every game last season, had 26 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack, his most productive year since joining the program in 2019. Even with using a redshirt year in 2021, Tatum has two years of eligibility remaining thanks to having a super senior year available.
After redshirting the 2021 season, Davis saw his first college action last year. He played in 12 games (with one start) and made 14 catches for 97 yards and added two carries for 15 yards. Davis has three years of eligibility remaining.
All four players were recruits who signed with Utah State out of high school.
Utah State will play its Blue vs. White spring showcase this Saturday at 1 p.m. MDT at Maverik Stadium.