In the modern world of college football recruiting, there is no such thing as an offseason. Recruiting is the lifeblood of every program, and there is a near-constant need to look to and prepare for the future.
With that in mind and with the national signing day less than a day away, here is a look at Utah State’s 2021 recruiting class, with prospects listed according to reporting by 247 Sports and the Deseret News.
QB/FS — Box Elder (Brigham City)
Listed as an athlete by recruiting services, Buchanan was the Bees’ starting quarterback each of the last three seasons. This year, while also starting at free safety, Buchanan helped lead Box Elder to a 5-6 overall record and a berth in the second round of the 5A state tournament. As a senior, Buchanan threw for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns and rushed for 730 yards and eight scores, while also recording 36 tackles and two interceptions.
Box Elder head coach Robbie Gunter’s comments on Buchanan:
“Parker has been a three-year starter at quarterback and led us to many wins. This year, he is also starting on defense and rarely comes off the field. He has been a captain for two seasons. He brings great energy to the field every day. He is very competitive and plays to win. Most of all, he loves his teammates and plays hard for them. The Aggies are getting a passionate teammate, and I know Parker will find a way to help them win football games.”
ATH — Etowah (Attalla, Alabama)
Davis, who goes by the nickname “NyNy”, was part of a program changing class at Etowah that won four consecutive region titles and 25-straight region games. Early in his high school career he played primarily at cornerback and running back, before shifting to wide receiver as an upperclassman. Also a track star, Davis set a new school record after running a 10.50 in the 100 meters.
Etowah head coach Ryan Locke’s comments on Davis (via The Acadiana Advocate):
“He’s a kid with world-class speed. He plays offense and defense for us. He’s also a return specialist. He’s probably the fastest kid I’ve ever coached. He’s (got) great downfield speed. We just try to get the ball in his hands — whether it’s a jet sweep, hitch, slant or snag route.”
DE — Bingham (South Jordan)
The highest-rated high school recruit in the Aggies’ 2021 class, Maile was a key contributor to yet another stout Bingham Miners defense. He recorded 48 tackles — the sixth-most on the team — and an interception in his senior season, helping Bingham to an 8-4 record and a berth in the quarterfinals of the 6A state tournament.
Bingham head coach Dave Peck’s comments on Maile:
“Tupou has been our most consistent defensive lineman this season. He is leading our defensive line in total defensive points. He has a great desire to be in on every play.”
QB — Arkansas State
A redshirt junior, Bonner threw for 3,150 yards, 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions over four seasons at Arkansas State. After returning from a season-ending injury that cut his 2019 campaign short — he started the first four games of the 2019 season and threw for 1,052 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception — Bonner completed 59.5% of his passes for 1,863 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2020, while sharing quarterback duties with redshirt sophomore Layne Hatcher.
WR — Arkansas State
A graduate transfer and redshirt senior, Bowling finished his A-State career with 72 receptions for 707 yards and six touchdowns. His best season in Jonesboro was this past one, when he had 29 receptions for 336 yards and four touchdowns.
OLB/DE — Texas
A junior, Hobbs-Vaughns played sparingly for the Longhorns in two seasons, after redshirting his freshman year in 2018. As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Hobbs-Vaughns played in 10 games and logged 14 total tackles, including 10 solo stops. In 2020, while playing almost exclusively on special teams, Hobbs-Vaughns didn’t record any statistics.
Hobbs-Vaughns was rated the 28th-best outside linebacker in the country and the 64th-best overall prospect in Texas coming out of high school, and was described by ESPN as “an athletic (linebacker) who projects to the outside. His length allows to project him to the strongside. Has traits to develop both on and off the ball. Has upside once his strength and instincts develop.”
ILB — Miami
A junior, Joyner played in nine games for Miami over three seasons. He finished his Hurricanes career with six total tackles, including 2.5 for loss. In 2020, Joyner appeared in four games, making his season debut against Florida State, while also seeing time against Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Oklahoma State.
Coming out of high school, Joyner was a 4-star prospect, per ESPN, and the 23rd-best prospect at his position in the country. During his senior season, he racked up 87 total tackles and forced two fumbles. He originally committed to FSU, before choosing Miami over Alabama, Florida and Auburn.
OT — Liberty
A graduate transfer and Judge Memorial High alumnus, Knight spend the last two seasons with the Liberty Flames. This past season, Knight appeared in all 11 games, helping lead the Flames to a 10-1 record, including a bowl victory over Coastal Carolina. As a redshirt junior in 2019, Knight played in three total games.
Prior to his time at Liberty, Knight spent two separate seasons — the 2016 and ’18 seasons — at the JUCO level at Ventura College, with a year at Arizona sandwiched in between.
DT — Georgia Tech
Lee entered the transfer portal in October, after playing four games on the defensive line as a redshirt senior this past season.
Prior to this year, Lee played in 31 games on the offensive line from 2016-18, starting 17 games. He played on both the offensive and defensive lines in 2019 — he started two games at left tackle — before suffering a season-ending injury.
As an offensive lineman, Lee helped the Yellow Jackets rush for 400-plus yards in a game nine different times and was a key cog at center and tackle in 2019, when Georgia Tech led the nation in rushing offense.
CB — Kansas
A grad transfer, Mayberry started 12 games and played in 43 over five seasons with Kansas. He finished his career as a Jayhawk with 101 career tackles, including 83 solo, as well as 5.5 tackles for loss and 11 pass deflections. His best individual season was in 2019, when he tallied 41 tackles and 5 pass deflections. In 2020, Mayberry had 25 tackles and two pass deflections.
ILB — Arkansas State
A one-time first team All-Mountain West linebacker and the 2020 preseason Defensive Player of the Year, Rice returns to the conference after spending a year at Arkansas State.
In his lone season in Jonesboro, Rice tallied 76 tackles, including 18.5 for a loss, the latter of which led the entire NCAA. He also recorded seven sacks and earned first team honors from the Sun Belt Conference. In his career — three seasons at Fresno State and one at A-State — Rice has racked up 201 tackles, 10 sacks, nine pass deflections, four forced fumbles and two interceptions.
RB — Oregon State
Tyler saw playing time in three of four seasons spent at Oregon State and finished with 124 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 14 games played. He also returned nine kickoffs for 182 yards and made two receptions for nine yards as a Beaver. This past season as a redshirt junior, Tyler played in three games and carried the ball 15 times for 45 yards and both of his career touchdowns.
OG — TCU
White appeared in 21 games over three seasons for TCU, including three appearances in 2020 as a junior. White had his biggest impact with the Horned Frogs as a sophomore, playing in all 12 games with three starts, at left and right tackle.
He was ranked as the state of Washington’s No. 1 offensive guard and No. 16 overall player coming out of high school and chose TCU over Washington State and Colorado State.
CB/WR — Sky View (Smithfield)
A two-way star for the two-time 4A state champion Bobcats, Larsen was instrumental in his team’s success this season. As a senior, Larsen hauled in a team-high 24 receptions for 565 yards and five touchdowns. He has also carried the ball 19 times for 197 yards and four scores. Defense is where Larsen has truly shined, though, with 42 tackles, four interceptions and four defensive touchdowns.
Sky View head coach Chris Howell’s comments on Larsen:
“Isaac is an incredible high school talent. He has worked extremely hard to mesh in with our team concept and is a really good teammate. Isaac has great big play capabilities, in all three phases of the game. He is extremely physical for corner, tackles really well and does a great job in coverage. I feel like the Aggies are getting a steal in Isaac. He is one of the fastest kids I have ever coached or coached against. I feel like the sky is the limit for him.”
DT — College of the Canyons (JUCO)
Having graduated in December, Peoples was the first commit and signee of the Blake Anderson era. A two-year starter at College of the Canyons, Aurion recorded 18 tackles, including 3 tackles for loss, and a sack as a sophomore in 2019. As a freshman in 2018, he recorded 19 tackles.
Peoples was considered a top-15 defensive tackle prospect by ESPN and was originally committed to Arkansas State, before he followed Anderson to Logan.