Utah State Football Position Preview: Offensive Line
LOGAN, Utah – After an 11-win season in 2018, the Utah State Aggies will look to match that in 2019 and will have to do so with a new offensive line unit.
In 2017, the Aggies had to replace four starters and 2 backups. The starters had never taken a snap on the offensive line for Utah State. Last season, all five starters returned and when the season ended, center Quinn Ficklin was named All-Mountain West first team, left guard Roman Andrus received second team honors and right guard Rob Castaneda was named to the third team.
Those three starters along with right tackle Sean Taylor have all graduated and Gary Andersen has to rebuild the offensive line but has some experience back.
One Returning Starter
Look for sophomore left tackle Alfred Edwards to have a great season in 2019 after gaining a lot of experience as the only underclassman on the offensive line last season as a true freshman. The 6’7, 310-pound tackle from Redlands, California is in charge of protecting the blind spot of quarterback Jordan Love.
Entering fall camp, some names to look for, include junior Demytrick Ali’ifua, who can play both guard and center positions. He played in all 13 games last season and started at left guard in two games against UNLV and Wyoming. Ali’ifua is 6’3, 315 pounds from San Leandro, California. He expected to see a lot of time at center in 2019.
Karter Shaw played four games on the offensive line last season before redshirting the rest of the year. He could see a lot of time at right guard with a physical 6’3, 300 pound frame. The redshirt freshman played for Herriman High School.
His brother Ty is expected to play a big role on the offensive line as a junior this season. He will likely play left guard but can rotate to other positions. He played in four games last season and participated in 52 offensive snaps. Shaw is 6’4, 300 pounds, who also prepped at Herriman High School.
Jacob South will enter his redshirt freshman season as a player looking to grow as a regular starter on the offensive line. The 6’6, 295-pound lineman from Anacortes, Washington, played in two games last year before using his redshirt.
Other Notable Names To Watch
In college football, it is important to have depth at every position. With a lot of youth and inexperience expected to start this season for Utah State, the depth will be tested.
Redshirt freshman Henelie Avendano played three games in 2018 before using his redshirt. He played against Tennessee Tech, New Mexico State and San Jose State. The 6’3, 300-pound lineman played at Jordan High School.
True freshman Hunter Hill was a surprise recruit for the Aggies on signing day after committing to Utah State as a three-star offensive lineman from Orem, High School.
Redshirt freshman Wyatt Bowles is another local player to watch for to play either tackle or center position. He played four games in 2018 before sitting out as a redshirt. Bowles played high school football at Syracuse.
Redshirt sophomore Kyler Hack will be able to play his first full season with the Aggies after joining the program in 2018 as a junior college transfer from Orange Coast Community College. The Las Vegas native played in three games last year before using his redshirt.
Redshirt freshman Andy Koch participated in three games last season before using his redshirt. He has a big offensive line frame, standing at 6’6 and weighs 275 pounds from Eastvale, California.