2021 players not returning: Jack Drews (Transfer Portal); Jack Rigby (Transferred to Southern Utah); Carson Terrell (Graduation)
2022 post-spring ball attrition: Troy de la Vega (Transferred to Coastal Carolina)
Returning players: Parker Buchanan, Broc Lane, Josh Sterzer
New Faces in 2022:
Jimmy McCormack 6’5″ 225 (NR) – Jensen Beach HS, FL – (Preferred Walk-on)
2019 (Sr.) Stats: 8 receptions 121 yards
2018 (Jr.) Stats: 23 receptions 283 yards 2 TDs
Offers from: Laney CC
Primary Recruiter: Unknown
Ron Tiavaasue 6’3″ 270 (247 3*) – Missouri State – (Transfer; 2 years to play 2)
2021 (Jr.) Stats: 14 receptions 173 yards 2 TDs
2021 (So. Spring FCS) Stats: 7 receptions 74 yards
2020 (So) Stats: Did not play in the fall due to Covid
2019 (Fr.) Stats: 12 receptions 84 yards 1 TD
Offers from: Austin Peay, Incarnate Word, Middle Tennessee St, Murray St, North Carolina Central, Samford, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Utah, Tennessee St, Texas A&M-Commerce
Original Offers from: Akron, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Central Arkansas, Dixie St, Idaho St, Louisiana-Monroe, North Dakota St, North Texas, New Mexico St, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Illinois, Southwestern Oklahoma St
Primary Recruiter: DJ Tialavea
In regards to the NCAA-mandated eligibility freeze from the 2020 season, what I’ve learned is the player’s eligibility will continue to accrue. Once the player reaches his 4th or 5th season, depending on if the player uses a redshirt season, the player will have the option to return to school for a 5th or 6th season and continue playing one more season. The player will then move from being listed as a senior (Sr.) to a graduate senior (Gr-Sr.)
Redshirt sophomore Broc Lane will be 100% entering fall camp and I project he will be sitting atop the depth chart when all is said and done. As a sophomore in 2021, he missed the season due to an injury and redshirted. As a true freshman in 2020, he saw action in all 6 games and caught 2 passes for 9 yards. As a senior at Perry High (AZ) in 2019, he snagged 23 receptions for 265 yards and 5 touchdowns. Lane is still relatively new to the tight end position, as he only began playing the position as a senior in high school. He is quick and has nice footwork while running routes, making it easy for him to gain separation. He excels in the middle of the field, whether piling up yards after a short catch or running down the seam for a big play. He is constantly looking for the ball and displays great hands. Once he becomes more familiar with what will be asked of him as a run blocker, he will develop into a solid asset for future Aggie teams.
Sophomore Josh Sterzer will be battling for second-team reps. As a true freshman in 2021, he saw action in all 13 games catching 4 passes for 21 yards. As a true freshman in 2020, he saw action in 3 games, including 1 start but he did not record any stats. He returned home from serving an LDS Church mission and enrolled at Utah State in January of 2020. As a senior at Taylorsville High (UT) in 2016, he pulled in 19 receptions for 423 yards and 5 touchdowns. He was also a force on the defensive side of the ball racking up 72 tackles, 22.0 tackles-for-loss, 11.0 sacks, 5 QB hurries, and 1 forced fumble. Sterzer runs crisp routes in the short passing game and he could easily become an option as a safety valve. He can turn to get out and run when he gets in the open field and he can be a physical blocker on the line with running plays. He has sure hands and could become a valuable target in the red zone. He may need some time to get back up to speed but has value in the passing game.
Senior Ron Tiava’asue joined the team following spring ball and will immediately bring some experience to a fairly young position group. Tiava’asue joins the Aggies after transferring from Missouri State. He will have 2 years of eligibility remaining. As a junior at Missouri State in 2021, he snagged 14 receptions for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. As a sophomore at Snow JC (UT) in 2021, he pulled in 7 receptions for 74 yards. As a true freshman in 2019, he had a solid start to his collegiate career catching 12 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Tiava’asue has light feet for being such a big body at the position. He uses his size to box out opposing defenders to make a catch in traffic. Once he catches a pass he punishes smaller players to extend the play for yards-after-the-catch. He will be an asset in the run game as he has proven to be an aggressive blocker who isn’t shy about putting an opposing player on his back but he is also athletic enough to split out wide and be a good blocker in the screen game as well.
Looking to make a move up the depth chart will be sophomore Parker Buchanan. As a true freshman in 2021, he saw action in 5 games but did not record any stats. As a senior quarterback at Box Elder High (UT), in 2020, he racked up 82 completions in 156 attempts for 1,149 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. He also tallied 130 carries for 710 yards and 7 touchdowns. He even recorded 2 receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown. As a junior in 2019, he had a slightly better season with 112 completions in 223 attempts for 1,702 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. He also carried the ball 111 times for 375 yards and 7 touchdowns while adding 1 reception for 27 yards. As a sophomore in 2018, he logged 62 completions in 138 attempts for 910 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions while adding 55 carries for 24 yards and 5 touchdowns. As a two-sport athlete Buchanan has developed into a very mobile athlete and thanks to his basketball roots, he also has good feet/footwork and that translates well onto the football field. When he runs, he runs with power and purpose and he isn’t afraid of contact. In terms of playing tight end it would be nice to have seen some footage of him catching more than one pass but often times at the high school level the best athlete on the field is the quarterback and in looking over football and basketball film of him, he is every bit of the term “athlete” and that will serve him well at the next level as an Aggie at Utah State.
Adding depth to the position is true freshman preferred walk-on, Jimmy McCormack. Unfortunately, as of press time, I only have spotty statistical information about McCormack out of high school. As a senior at Jensen Beach High (FL) in 2019, McCormack was credited with 8 receptions for 121 yards. As a junior at Marin County Hight (CA) in 2018, he pulled in 23 receptions for 283 yards and 2 touchdowns. Despite his size, he spent a lot of time lining out wide as a receiver rather than as a tight end. He has good speed and can easily blow by opposing defensive backs. His outstanding size allows him to go up, over, and outjump much smaller defenders. He has good hands and catches the ball out in front of his body. He spent a lot of time running go routes but is capable of running other routes within the route tree.
PROJECTED 2022 PRESEASON DEPTH CHART
87 Broc Lane (6-4, 240, RsSo., 1L, 3*)
83 Josh Sterzer (6-3, 235, Jr., 2L, 2*)
11 Ron Tiava’asue (6-3, 270, Sr., TR, 3*)
85 Parker Buchanan (6-5, 240, RsFr., RS, 3*)
86 Jimmy McCormack (6-5, 225, Fr., HS, NR)
Coming Up On Friday: Wide Receiver