LOGAN — Utah State fans had their first look at the 2019 Utah State football team in the team’s first official practice Thursday.
The program had 31 returning lettermen, 15 seniors and nine returning starters, show up in helmets, practice jerseys and shorts for the first of 24 practices to prepare for the season opener against Wake Forest.
First-year head coach Gary Andersen was happy with the team’s first impression for the season.
"It was a positive first day. The players were excited to be out here, and they should be," Andersen said. "One of the things that impressed me today was the special teams. We kicked the ball well and our drills were very clean and precise.
“It was also nice to see the calmness of our defensive backs as a whole,” he added. “It's hard to line up against our offense with all the formations and pace they throw at you, and we didn't see a lot of panic from that group."
The juniors were the most impressive on the first day, according to Andersen. That group was led by quarterback Jordan Love, who is the “leader on this football team — on and off the field.”
"He'll make sure they're doing the right thing on the field, he'll push them but he's even steven,” he said. “There are not really gigantic highs or really bad lows, he battles through it or the next snap for the next day or the next weightlifting session or the next waiting with a meeting room, whatever is coming his way. He's, in my opinion, a college football professional student-athlete."
All-American linebacker David Woodward showed up on the first live play of the camp, returning an intercepted pass for the touchdown.
Fellow junior safety and Dayton, Ohio, native Cash Gilliam, “wrestled the football away from a receiver on a deep pass for his first interception this fall,” according to Utah State Athletics.
The third junior highlight came from wide receiver Savon Scarver who caught redshirt freshman Andrew Peasley’s swing pass for a “lengthy touchdown reception.”
Media members voted Utah State to finish second in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West. The Aggies' season will begin on Friday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. at Wake Forest.
Fans and media members can watch the team prepare for the season until Friday, Aug. 9. The team’s last scrimmage will be open to the public on Saturday, Aug.17 for Family Football Fun Day.