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Tight ends a wild card for Utah State football heading into spring ball

Kent State defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight (24) and linebacker Nick Faulkner (1) tackle Utah State tight end Carson Terrell (88) during the first half of the Frisco Bowl game Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, in Frisco, Texas. Kent State won 51-41.
Brandon Wade, Associated Press

LOGAN — What can Utah State football fans expect from the tight end position heading into spring camp?

It is an interesting question. By the numbers, the Aggies are loaded at the position.

There are three seniors, Carson Terrell, Mosese ‘Mo’ Manu and Travis Boman. Then there are sophomores Bryce Mortensen and Josh Sterzer, redshirt freshman Jack Drews, as well as true freshman Broc Lane. All told, USU has seven tight ends on scholarship, well above the program’s stated goals.

“Our goal is to have five of those kids on scholarship in our program and currently we have seven,” Utah State head coach Gary Andersen said. “There is a good number, but we need that number.”

The reason why is a change in the offense.

Last season Caleb Repp (36 receptions for 455 yard and four touchdowns) and Terrell (13 receptions for 84 yards) were largely utilized as receivers, but the Aggies’ hope to use their tight ends in a multitude of different ways in 2020.

“We will play more with two tight ends this year,” Andersen said. “We really want to have an anchor tight end, more hands on the ground type, and then a tight end like we played with last year, most of the time with him off the ball.”

Terrell, Manu and Boman are expected to be more of the hands on the ground type and Terrell in particular has impressed heading into spring ball.

“Carson obviously has the most experience and played very well last year,” Andersen said. “I love what he has done during the offseason, as far as preparing his body.”

As far as pass catchers go, Mortensen has made strides and there is the wild card of Sterzer, recently returned from a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

“Bryce Mortensen is just coming into his own. He is going to be really fun to watch in spring ball,” said Andersen. “The Sterzer kid who came off the mission is with us now, so it’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts and handles it.”

None of that includes Lane, who Andersen spoke at length about on national signing day.

“He’s an athletic guy that can move and run,” Andersen said. “He’s an athlete that is developed enough; over the last year-and-a-half, he has grown like eight inches and put on a bunch of weight, and he can come in and play right away.”

Based off the numbers alone, competition for playing time will be fierce.

“It is going to be very competitive,” Andersen said.

And bringing us back to the original question of what can Aggie fans expect from the tight ends this year, that’ll largely come down to them.

“The tight ends will be as much of our offense as they deserve to be,” said Andersen. “As their input and production shows in the spring. I expect it to be really good.”