2022 players not returning: Alfred Edwards (USFL 1st Round Pick Philadelphia Stars)
2023 post-spring ball attrition: None
Returning players: Teague Andersen, Timo Asoaufua, Calvin Knapp, Cole Motes, Bryce Radford
New Faces in 2023:
Ralph Frias 6’7″ 305 (247 3*) – Arizona State University – (2 years to play 2)
2022 (Jr.) Stats: Did not see any action at Arizona State
2021 (So.) Stats: Missed the season with an injury
2020 (So.) Stats: Played in 5 games
2019 (RsFr.) Stats: Played in 11 games
2018 (Fr.) Stats: Redshirted at Arizona State
Offers from: Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Southern, Grambling St, Incarnate Word, Kent St, Massachusetts, Northern Colorado
Original Offers from: Arizona St, Central Florida, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, San Diego St, UNLV
Primary Recruiter: Cooper Bassett
Jake Hellmann 6’6″ 295 (NR) – College of San Mateo, CA – (3 years to play 2)
2022 (So) Stats: Started all 13 games on the offensive line
2021 (Fr.) Stats: Saw action in all 12 games on the offensive line
Offers from: Black Hills St, Coastal Carolina, Lincoln University, New Mexico Highlands, Northwestern St, Pikeville, Robert Morris
Primary Recruiter: Micah James, Nick Paremski
Jr Sia 6’6″ 310 (247 3*) – Mountain Ridge HS, UT
2022 (Sr.) Stats: Started all 12 games on the offensive line
2021 (Jr.) Stats: Started all 11 games on the offensive line
2020 (So.) Stats: Started all 9 games on the offensive line
2019 (Fr.) Stats: Started all 11 games on the offensive line
Offers from: Arizona St, Nebraska, utah, Virginia
Primary Recruiter: DJ Tialavea
Regarding 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.)
Senior Calvin Knapp has a good opportunity to begin the 2023 season atop the depth chart at this spot. Due to the COVID NCAA eligibility extension, Knapp has one more season of eligibility beyond 2023 remaining. As a junior in 2022, Knapp saw action in all 13 games and graded out at 87%. As a sophomore in 2021, he saw action in 12 of 13 games. Knapp joined the Aggies 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. The time is now for Knapp to seize the opportunity to become the full-time guy at left tackle.
Senior transfer Ralph Frias is going to make a very strong run at the starting spot. Due to the COVID NCAA eligibility extension, Frias has one more season of eligibility beyond 2023 remaining. Frias chose to become an Aggie over offers from Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Southern, Grambling State, Incarnate Word, Kent State, Massachusetts, and Northern Colorado. Frias began his collegiate career at Arizona State where as a junior in 2022 he did not see any action. As a sophomore in 2021, he missed the season due to an injury suffered in fall camp. As a sophomore in 2020, he saw action in 5 games. As a redshirt freshman in 2019, he saw action in 11 of 13 games. Frias spent his 2018 true freshman season as a redshirt while participating on the Sun Devil practice squad. Frias is literally a gigantic addition to the Aggie offensive line. He favors a road-grading aggressive style of play. He is also a very physically strong player. Once he engages his block, he doesn’t stop until the opposing player is on his back. He leverages his size very well and once an opponent moves in a particular direction, Frias will simply use his strength to drive the player in that direction and out of the play. His footwork is smooth enough that he can kick a speed rush out passed the quarterback. I expect Frias to be a major contributor during his final two seasons in an Aggie uniform.
Redshirt freshman Bryce Radford is pushing to make a move up the depth chart. Radford spent his 2022 true freshman season as a redshirt while participating on the Aggie practice squad. As a senior at local Green Canyon High (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.
True freshman JR Sia will enter fall camp as one of the highest-rated Aggie recruits ever. Sia chose to sign with the Aggies over offers from Arizona State, Nebraska, utah, and Virginia. As a senior at Mountain Ridge High (UT) in 2022, he started all 12 games on the offensive line and earned a first-team all-state selection. As a junior in 2021, he started all 11 games on the offensive line and earned a first-team all-region selection. As a sophomore in 2020, he started all 9 games on the offensive line. As a freshman in 2019, he started all 11 games on the offensive line. Sia does a good job of gaining leverage on opponents and staying low to maximize his strength. He is an aggressive run-blocker burying his defender with pancake blocks. In pass protection, he does a good job moving backward while anticipating where defenders will try to attack him. This allows him to beat his defender to the spot. He is mobile enough to get out into the second level on his blocks. Sia is versatile enough that he could potentially play both tackle and guard at the collegiate level.
Junior Cole Motes appears ready to take over the starting spot full-time. As a sophomore in 2022, Motes played in all 13 games with 4 starts while grading out 84%. As a redshirt freshman in 2021, Motes replaced an injured Jacob South in the starting lineup and played in 9 games with 8 starts, while grading out at 80%. 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. 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. His footwork has improved immensely over the last few years. 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 Aggies win at UNLV in 2021, it was the first time he had ever played as an offensive lineman in a game. Motes is developing into an extremely dependable offensive lineman.
The versatility of redshirt freshman Teague Andersen has earned him a spot as the number two guy at this spot. Andersen spent his 2022 true freshman season as a redshirt while participating on the Aggie practice squad. As a senior at Lehi High (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 the proper position right after the snap and engaging 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 Jake Hellman joined the Aggies in January in order to participate in spring ball. Hellman has 3 years to complete his final two seasons of eligibility. Hellman chose to sign with the Aggies over offers from Black Hills State, Coastal Carolina, Lincoln University, New Mexico-Highlands, Northwestern State, Pikeville University, and Robert Morris. As a sophomore at the College of San Mateo (CA) in 2022, Hellman started all 13 games on the offensive line. As a true freshman in 2021, he saw action in all 12 games on the offensive line. Hellman played his high school football at in-state Weber High (UT). Hellman has a long athletic frame that could he could still add a little weight to. He is strong and powerful and once he gets into an opposing defender he really drives into them. Hellmann is very mobile and is often utilized for pulling or getting downfield for blocks on screens. He is aggressive after the snap and uses solid footwork techniques when executing his assignments.
Redshirt junior Timo Asoaufua will be competing hard to move up the depth chart. Asoaufua spent his 2022 junior season as a redshirt while participating on the Aggie practice squad. Asoaufua was a late addition to the 2022 Aggie roster and did not make it to fall camp until the second week of August. Prior to joining the Aggies, Asoaufua spent the first two seasons of his collegiate career at Chabot Community College (CA). As a sophomore in 2021, he was a starter in all 12 games. Asoaufua loves to use his massive frame to engage and drive opposing defenders into the turf. Once he makes contact he does an excellent job of continuing to drive his feet. In zone-blocking schemes, he does a good job of identifying his assignment. He is fairly light on his feet for a player his size but he does his best work moving from the outside in.
PROJECTED 2023 PRESEASON DEPTH CHART
77 Calvin Knapp (6-4, 280, Sr*., 2L, NR)
00 Ralph Frias (6-7, 305, Sr*., TR, 3*)
75 Bryce Radford (6-6, 305, RsFr., RS, 3*)
00 Jr Sia (6-6, 310, Fr., HS, 3*)
56 Cole Motes (6-5, 295, Jr*., 2L, 3*)
70 Teague Andersen (6-5, 280, RsFr., RS, 3*)
55 Jake Hellmann (6-6, 300, Jr., JC, NR)
58 Timo Asoaufua (6-6, 310, RsJr., RS, NR)
Coming Up On Thursday: Offensive Guard