2021 players not returning: None
2022 post-spring ball attrition: Jonah Hayes (Transfer Portal)
Returning players: Wyatt Bowles, Alfred Edwards, Calvin Knapp, Cole Motes
New Faces in 2022:
Teague Andersen 6’5″ 280 (247 3*) – Lehi HS, UT
2021 (Sr.) Stats: Starter on the offensive line in all 14 games
2020 (Jr.) Stats: Starter on the offensive line in all 9 games
2019 (So.) Stats: Starter on the offensive line in all 14 games
Offers from: Air Force, Army, Baylor, Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Marshall, Troy
Primary Recruiter: Micah James, Blake Anderson, DJ Tialavea, Cade Camp
Nikita luferov 6’6″ 295 (NR) – T – College of San Mateo, CA – (Committed to Utah State 7/26/22; 3 years to play 2)
Offers from: North Texas, San Jose St
Primary Recruiter: Micah James
Interest in USU: WARMER
Adam Pond 6’5″ 245 (247 2*) – Skyridge HS, UT – (Preferred Walk-on)
2019 (Sr.) Stats: Starter on the offensive line in all 10 games
2018 (Jr.) Stats: Starter on the offensive line in all 13 games
2017 (So.) Stats: Starter on the offensive line in all 14 games
Offers from: New Mexico St
Original offers from: Bridgewater College, Dixie St, Idaho St, Southern Utah
Primary Recruiter: Micah James, DJ Tialavea
Bryce Radford 6’6″ 305 (247 3*) – Green Canyon HS, UT
2021 (Sr.) Stats: Starter on the offensive line in all 10 games; 1 tackle
2020 (Jr.) Stats: Starter on the offensive line in all 10 games
2019 (So.) Stats: Starter on the offensive line in all 12 games
Offers from: New Mexico, UNLV
Primary Recruiter: DJ Tialavea, Micah James
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.)
Graduate senior Alfred Edwards as he has for several years will reprise his role as the starter at this position. As a senior in 2021, he started in all 13 games. For his effort in 2021, he was named an Honorable Mention All-Mountain West Conference selection. As a junior in 2020, Edwards started in all 6 games. As a sophomore in 2019, he played in 12 games and started all 12 while playing in 764 snaps and recording 7 knockdown blocks. He earned the starting job in 2018 as a redshirt freshman playing in 12 games with 11 starts, while racking up 662 snaps, grading out at 83%, and recording 10 knockdowns. He sat out the 2017 season while redshirting and was named the 2017 Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year. Edwards chose the Aggies after being verbally committed to Mountain West Conference foe Nevada at one time. The coaching staff believes that Edwards has the tremendous length needed for an offensive tackle. He has great footwork and he uses his athleticism to stymie opposing defenders. He is a good pass protector and possesses a high football IQ. He stays in front of the opposing defensive players and is invaluable while protecting the quarterbacks’ “blindside”. He is also proving to be a road grader in the running game. He is a lead-by-example type of player and is an excellent leader on the field for the younger offensive linemen.
Working to make some noise this season is junior Calvin Knapp. As a sophomore in 2021, he saw action in 12 of 13 games. Knapp joined the Aggies last summer after spending a year at Iowa Western Community College (IA). As a sophomore in 2020 at Iowa Western, during a COVID abbreviated spring season, he started in the 5 games that the Reivers played. As a redshirt freshman in 2019, he played on the defensive line at Southwest Minnesota State and logged 17 tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. As a true freshman in 2018, he spent the season at Southwest Minnesota State redshirting. Knapp is very active with his feet. He displays good footwork and he is tough to beat with a speed rush approach. He has a strong upper body and it’s tough for an opposing defensive player to outmuscle him. He is mobile and quick enough that he can be used to pull across the entire line of scrimmage. What is most exciting about him is he is so raw and new to the offensive line position that he could be an impact player much sooner than later.
Joining the Aggies this summer is true freshman Bryce Radford. As a senior at local Green Canyon HS (UT) in 2021, Radford was a starter on the offensive line in all 10 games. As a junior in 2020, he again was a starter on the offensive line in all 10 games. As a sophomore in 2019, he was a starter on the offensive line in all 12 games. Radford loves to be physical at the line of scrimmage and he if can put his man on his back he will do it. He is a towering figure who often overpowers opposing defenders. He does a great job of standing his ground and he has a strong lower body that makes it difficult for defenders to push him into the backfield. He is mobile and athletic enough that he can pull if needed and he has the footwork to make open-field blocks in the screen game. He is versatile enough to play all five positions along the offensive line.
Adding depth to the position will be true freshman preferred walk-on, Adam Pond. Pond joins the Aggies this summer after serving an LDS Church mission. Following the completion of his high school career, he originally signed with Southern Utah University. As a senior at Skyridge HS (UT) in 2019, Pond was a starter on the offensive line in all 10 games. As a junior in 2018, he was a starter on the offensive line in all 13 games. As a sophomore in 2017, he was a starter on the offensive line in all 14 games. Pond is an athletic big man out on the field. He is very mobile and that allows him to keep himself upright and kick out opposing edge rushers. He isn’t shy about throwing would-be defenders to the ground if they try to engage him. His mobility lets him be used to pull from one side to the other and lead a sweep. He has a mean streak that will serve him well at the collegiate level.
After seeing significant playing time last season, sophomore Cole Motes appears ready to take over the starting spot full time. As a redshirt freshman in 2021, Motes replaced an injured Jacob South in the starting lineup and played in 9 games with 8 starts. As a true freshman in 2020, he did not see any action and took a redshirt season. He joined the Aggies late in the summer of 2020 following his return from serving an LDS Church mission. As a senior at Thatcher High (AZ) in 2018, playing in a run-heavy offense, Motes pulled in 7 receptions for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, he tallied 38 tackles, 9.0 tackles-for-loss, 1.0 sacks, and 1 interception. Motes is an extremely athletic big man. He has great hands and an impressive verticle leap. He has a good first step and is very rangy with his long wingspan. His mobility and speed are what will serve him best. After spending his entire high school career as a tight end he is relatively new to the offensive line position and his willingness to listen intently and apply what he is being taught is what is going to help him become a solid offensive lineman for the Aggies. When he started the Aggie win at UNLV in 2021, it was the first time he had ever played as an offensive lineman in a game.
After several seasons of disappointing injury, senior Wyatt Bowles is set at the number two spot at this position. As a junior in 2021, Bowles saw action in 11 of 13 games. As a sophomore in 2020, Bowles did not see any action. As a redshirt freshman in 2019, he was injured early in fall camp and missed the entire season. As a true freshman in 2018, he took 47 snaps while playing in the maximum 4 games allowed and still being able to receive a redshirt season. The Aggies landed Bowles on signing day, despite a late push from the PAC-12’s Oregon State. He has shown a lot of upside during his development. However, he needs to stay healthy to get on the field and show what he can do and last season was a step in the right direction. He has a passion for the game and it translates to the field. He has good footwork and uses that to his advantage to keep opposing defenders from getting the edge on him. He is athletic and has a high football IQ and that gives him the flexibility and the understanding of the playbook to play anywhere from tackle to center.
Competing to make a move up the depth chart is true freshman Teague Andersen. As a senior at Lehi HS (UT) in 2021, Andersen was a starter on the offensive line in all 14 games. As a junior in 2020, he was a starter on the offensive line in all 9 games. As a sophomore in 2019, he was a starter on the offensive line in all 14 games. Andersen is light on his feet and moves well laterally in pass protection. He is a force in run-blocking and does a good job of getting into proper position right after the snap and engages in his blocks. He pulls well on run plays and has developed an understanding of what to do for each play. He plays with a nasty mean streak that will make him a physical force at the collegiate level. He is versatile enough to play all five positions along the offensive line.
Junior college transfer junior Nikita luferov joins the Aggies just before the beginning of fall camp. luferov began his collegiate career at the College of San Mateo (CA), and he will have 3 years to complete his final 2 seasons of eligibility. As a sophomore at the College of San Mateo in 2021, luferov was a starter on the offensive line in all 12 games. As a freshman in 2020, the season was canceled due to covid. luferov is a physical specimen. He does a good job of keeping his hands up and engaging opposing defensive ends. He stands his ground well and is able to push defenders beyond the developing pocket. He is able to identify when a pass rusher is trying to make a move and he does not hesitate to simply push the defender in the direction he is going and move him out of the play.
PROJECTED 2022 PRESEASON DEPTH CHART
72 Alfred Edwards (6-7, 325, GR-Sr., 3L, 4*)
77 Calvin Knapp (6-4, 280, Jr., 1L, NR)
75 Bryce Radford (6-6, 305, Fr., HS, 3*)
67 Adam Pond (6-5, 250, Fr., HS, 2*)
56 Cole Motes (6-5, 295, Jr., 1L, 3*)
60 Wyatt Bowles (6-5, 290, Sr., 1L, 3*)
70 Teague Andersen (6-5, 280, Fr., HS, 3*)
64 Nikita luferov (6-6, 295, Jr., JC, NR)
Coming up on Thursday: Striker