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What kind of role will senior wide receiver Taylor Compton fill for Utah State football in 2020-21?

Utah State wide receiver Taylor Compton returns a kickoff in FBS college football action. A Cache Valley native, Compton is expected to fill a key role on the Aggies’ offense in 2020-21.
Wade Denniston, USU Athletics

LOGAN — Taylor Compton is not a household name and for good reason.

During his three seasons with the Utah State Aggies, Compton, a 5-foot-8, 175-pound slot receiver, has totaled 22 receptions for 179 yards in 27 games played.

The former Logan High star — he was a part of the Grizzlies’ 2011 state championship team and earned first-team All-State honors (4A) as a senior in 2013 — has been a second- or third-string athlete throughout his Aggies career, a rotation player to be sure, but not more than that.

Logan’s Taylor Compton, 15, runs the ball during the first-round 4A playoffs.
Logan’s Taylor Compton, 15, runs the ball during the first-round 4A playoffs.
Bill Quick

All that could change this year as Compton is one of four returning receivers whom coach Gary Andersen singled out prior to spring football, along with Savon Scarver, Jordan Nathan and Deven Thompkins, as expected playmakers during the 2020-21 season.

A new offensive system, sparked by the arrival of offensive coordinator Bodie Reeder, has a lot to do with that. Reeder is moving the Aggies to a more multiple-type offense, away from the break-neck pace of the last few seasons. While more complex, the offense allows for different formations, different personnel groupings, different routes and different spots to occupy on the field.

Where in the past Compton was in the mix behind Thompkins, who he described as “a big -time playmaker,” and Nathan, a three-year starter, there is expected to be a greater opportunity for him in the new system. Opportunity for him to take advantage of.

“Coach Reeder uses a lot of formations,” said Compton. “He is a multiple kind of guy and that gives us chances to play out of different spots, with different routes. The offense is more complex. Time will tell if that leads to more and different opportunities, but a lot of guys are excited about it.”

Compton included, but he’ll be the first to admit that there are no guarantees at this point. That has been one of the biggest downsides of the cancelation of spring camp, the chance to compete for defined roles and playing time.

“That is the nice thing about spring ball and fall camp,” said Compton, “we can battle for roles.”

Whenever fall camp takes place, a boon to Compton’s cause is the enviable chemistry he has with the Aggies’ presumptive starting quarterback Henry Colombi. For the past three seasons, Colombi has, for all intents and purposes, been his quarterback.

“I’ve always been a second- or third-team guy who rotated in, so for most of my playing career Henry has been my quarterback,” explained Compton. “We’ve always played together in practice and scrimmages, so I have a really good comfort level with him.”

Ultimately, Compton is comfortable with whatever role he is asked to play. He just wants to help the Aggies win.

“You know, as far as roles go, those will play out for themselves,” he said. “For me personally, I want to be whatever helps the team.”

And whatever role he ends up playing, Compton has no regrets when it comes to his collegiate career. A former walk-on — he was memorably placed on scholarship in August 2018 — who was told by many a coach that he was too small to play Division 1 football, Compton has lived out his childhood dream.

Taylor Compton Earns His Scholarship

When mom calls, you better pick up! Congrats to Taylor Compton on earning a scholarship today! #AggiesAllTheWay #MeetTheChallenge

Posted by Utah State Football on Friday, August 24, 2018

“Growing up as a kid in Logan I always wanted to be an Aggie,” he said. “That is kind of funny to say now because we didn’t win a lot of games when I was growing up until coach A got here, but I was up at the stadium watching guys like Kevin Robinson. Even though we struggled, that’s what I always wanted to do. I wanted to be an Aggie. I didn’t want to have any regrets and it ended up working out. It has been one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences of my life.”