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Utah State players greet their families after defeating New Mexico 41-27 at Maverik Stadium in Logan on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020.

Yukai Peng, KSL

New coaches, new players: Utah State continues to rework football staff and roster

By Ryan Miller, | Posted - Jan. 4, 2021 at 2:02 p.m.

LOGAN — The Utah State football coaching staff is continuing to take shape.

Utah State announced Monday that it had named Al Lapuaho as defensive line coach and DJ Tialavea as tight ends coach. Lapuaho and Tialavea join former Aggie quarterback Chuckie Keeton as Utah State alums on new head coach Blake Anderson's staff.

It'll be Lapuaho fourth year with the program; he spent 2020 as a strength and conditioning graduate assistant, and in 2018 and 2019 as a defensive graduate assistant working with the defensive line.

The West Valley-native played his final two years of football in Logan from 2011-12, where he started 26 games for the Aggies. He earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors as a senior.

Tialavea will enter his second season with Utah State after spending the 2020 campaign as an offensive graduate assistant coaching the tight ends. Tialavea appeared in 40 games between 2010-2013 and caught 30 passes for 198 yards and five touchdowns for the Aggies.

Monday's announcement comes on the heels of reports over the weekend that Miami co-defensive coordinator Ephraim Banda has agreed to become the new defensive coordinator at Utah State, and that Banda is bringing some coaches from South Beach with him, including Mike Zuckerman and Alex Devine.

Zuckerman, Miami's senior quality control analyst for defense, is reportedly coming to Logan to be the Utah State interior linebacker coach, while Devine, who served as the assistant director of player development at Miami, is also expected to join the staff.

The Aggies aren't just adding coaches, they're adding players, too.

On Monday, former Arkansas State wide receiver Brandon Bowling announced he's following Anderson to Utah State. Bowling, a redshirt senior, had 72 receptions for 707 yards and six touchdowns in his career at Arkansas State.

Bowling is the second player from Arkansas State to head west to Logan, joining quarterback Logan Bonner. Utah State has also added junior college defensive tackle Aurion Peoples and Kansas cornerback Kyle Mayberry via the transfer portal since Anderson took over.

Ryan Miller


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