UTAH STATE AGGIES

Andersen: ‘Identify And Understand’ Is Key For Recruiting Transfer Portal

Dec 18, 2019, 1:33 PM
Gary Andersen - Utah State Aggies...
USU Coach Gary Andersen urges his team on as Utah State University defeats Toledo 41-15 as they play football in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in Boise, Idaho. Courtesy of Deseret News.

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State head coach Gary Andersen said that when it comes to recruiting student-athletes in the NCAA Transfer Portal the “key thing is to identify and understand” each situation.

Prior to Signing Day 2019 and the team’s trip to Texas for the Frisco Bowl, Andersen discussed his staff’s approach to recruiting out of the transfer portal.

“There are one-year kids, there are two-year kids and there could be three-year kids. It really depends on where they’re at within their eligibility. The key thing is to identify and understand that the kids aren’t perfect, coaches aren’t perfect, fits aren’t perfect,” said Andersen. “You can’t just gain an opinion about a young man in the portal because he’s leaving a program. You’ve got to find out why.”

The NCAA Transfer Portal was introduced on October 15, 2018. It was “created as a compliance tool to systematically manage the transfer process from start to finish, add more transparency to the process among schools and empower student-athletes to make known their desire to consider other programs.”

Andersen discussed scenarios of why a player might be in the transfer portal.

“Maybe he was over his head, maybe he was in a position battle that he couldn’t win,” continued Andersen. “These kids have been in a four-year program. What went wrong? In high school or JC, a lot of times it’s this went right. This is why we want them now. In the portal, something might have gone wrong for them to be in there. Educating yourself on what that was is key.”

The Aggies are no strangers to recruiting the transfer portal. Following the 2018 season, Andersen and his staff bolstered the roster with multiple additions from the portal.

“Last year, we looked and we saw Caleb (Repp) and Siaosi (Mariner) immediately at the very beginning. That was a chance to have what we thought were game-changers,” said Andersen. “We saw Nick (Heninger) in the same scenario. He walked in and we thought he was a game-changer. And, Riley (Burt) was the same way. It has been awesome for those. Now, (Terin Adams) came in late as a cornerback, all of a sudden late leaving the place he was at before. He was in a spot where we could have filled another kid in, but we did a great job of researching those young men. Our coaches do a good job with that.

As the Aggies finalize game prep for the bowl game, Andersen and his staff announced their signing class during the early period of National Letter of Intent day.

The Aggies will play the Kent State Golden Flashes in the Frisco Bowl on December 20 at 5:30 p.m. (MDT). The game will be televised on ESPN2.

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Andersen: ‘Identify And Understand’ Is Key For Recruiting Transfer Portal