USU football begins spring practice March 4

Friday , March 28, 2014 - 12:30 PM

Standard-Examiner Wire Services

LOGAN – Under the direction of second-year head coach Matt Wells, Utah State football will begin spring practice on Tuesday, March 4 in the Stan Laub Indoor Football Complex at 6 a.m.

During the five-week period, the Aggies will participate in 15 spring practice sessions, culminating in the annual Blue vs. White Spring Game, presented by Orbit Irrigation Products, on Saturday, April 12 on Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium at 2 p.m.

Utah State returns 15 starters (O-6, D-5, S-4) as part of 43 letterwinners (O-20, D-19, S-4) from last year's 9-5 team that won the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference, played in the inaugural Mountain West Championship game, and defeated No. 24 Northern Illinois, 21-14, in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

Among those returning for Utah State includes seven players who have earned various all-conference accolades including senior quarterback Chuckie Keeton who was a first-team all-Western Athletic Conference selection following his sophomore season in 2012. Keeton will not participate in spring practice as he continues to recover from a knee injury suffered last year.

Other all-league players returning for Utah State including senior defensive end B.J. Larsen, senior linebacker Zach Vigil and junior linebacker Kyler Fackrell who were all named second-team all-Mountain West in 2013, while senior safety Brian Suite, senior placekicker Nick Diaz and junior wide receiver/punt returner Bruce Natson all earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors a year ago.

Along with its seven returning all-league players, Utah State also returns four other starters on offense (QB – Darell Garretson; RB – Joe Hill, WR – Brandon Swindall; OT – Kevin Whimpey), one other starter on defense (LB – Nick Vigil), and three other returning specialists (P/K – Jaron Bentrude; LS – Nate Needham; K – Jake Thompson). Hill will not participate in spring practice either as he continues to recover from a knee injury suffered last year.

All practices are open to the public, with morning practices scheduled from 6-8 a.m. at the Stan Laub Indoor Football Complex. Afternoon practices are scheduled from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. All practice times and locations are subject to change.

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