Aggie Notes: Local Talent, New Faces Expected To Lead Utah State Safeties In 2023

Aug 16, 2023, 6:21 PM

LOGAN, Utah – Barring injury, the back end of Utah State’s defense could end up being the position with the fewest question marks as USU prepares for the 2023 campaign.

Ike Larsen, the only Aggie to receive first-team All-Mountain West preseason recognition, has been impressed by the group of Utah State safeties in fall camp.

As the lone returning starter, Larsen is confident this group has the talent to be successful. “We’re learning daily, trying to get better. I feel like we’ve brought good energy,” Larsen said.

“I’ve been impressed because we have a lot of new guys and it’s awesome to see us all come together and be able to learn one thing, then go out that night and walk through it. I feel confident about this defense.”

RELATED: Utah State Unveils New Uniforms For Upcoming College Football Season

First-year safeties coach Ethan Morriss mentioned the leadership he’s seen from Larsen. “Ike has done a great job this year of learning the defense, maturing, and becoming the leader that he needs to be.”

Utah State Returning Safeties (Listed alphabetically)

Ike Larsen | Sophomore | Smithfield, UT

Ike Larsen was named a College Football News Honorable Mention Freshman All-American and a second-team all-Mountain West selection after totaling 33 tackles, two sacks, and team-high four interceptions in 11 games for the Aggies as a redshirt freshman.

Heading into his sophomore year, Larsen was the only Aggie to be named on the First-Team All-Mountain West preseason ballot.

“The first week of fall camp has been good,” Larsen said about the beginning of camp. “People are doubting us, but we’re right where we want to be. We’re not worried at all.”

Larsen checks in on Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 as the 25th-rated player in Utah this season.

Omari Okeke | Senior | Bellflower, CA

In his first season with Utah States after transferring from Cerritos College, Okeke played in ten games in 2022, starting one. He totaled 18 tackles and broke up a pass against San Jose State on November 19.

In two seasons with Cerritos College, Okeke totaled 50 tackles, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery.

RELATED: Sophomore Aggie Safety Continues Racking Up Preseason Recognition

Dusten Ramseyer-Burdett | Senior | Anahola, HI

Ramseyer-Burdett signed on with Utah State as a transfer from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon ahead of the 2021 season. As a sophomore at Linfield, he made 39 tackles with two coming behind the line of scrimmage. Ramseyer-Burdett intercepted two passes at Linfield, returning one 96-yards for a touchdown.

After redshirting for the Aggies in 2021, Ramseyer-Burdett appeared in USU’s final two games last year but did not record any stats.

Anthony Switzer | RS Junior | Augusta, AR

After Switzer transferred to Utah State ahead of the 2022 season but was forced to use his redshirt year due to an injury.

In 24 games and 15 starts with Arkansas State, Switzer had 91 tackles, three forced fumbles, and an interception. Switzer made seven starts as a sophomore in 2021.

Checking in at No. 59 on KSL Sports Zone Hans & Scotty 60 in 60, Switzer’s leadership is already making an impact in the locker room and on the practice field.

“Another guy in that room is Anthony Switzer,” coach Ethan Morriss said. “(He) has done a great job in continuing to help Ike mature. Having those older guys grab the younger guys and continuing to show them how it’s supposed to be done is really good.”

RELATED: Utah State Director Of Athletics Diana Sabau ‘Hits Ground Running’

Utah State Incoming Safeties  (Listed alphabetically)

Chase Davis | Freshman | Little Elm, TX

Listed at 6’3 and 180 pounds, Chase Davis has the build to be a prototypical safety. Davis’ recruitment may have been hampered by a senior season at Little Elm High School in which he appeared in just three games.

He joins Utah State as a consensus three-star recruit as rated by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, and 247Sports.com. ESPN rated him as the 57th-best safety in the nation

Devin Dye | Sophomore | San Diego, CA

A linebacker for Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, CA, Dye was converted to safety after joining Palomar College. After injury limited him to three games as a freshman, Dye put up good numbers as a sophomore. The 6’0, 185-pound safety finished with 59 tackles, two interceptions, and a pass breakup. Dye recorded double-digit tackles twice during his sophomore season.

Dye is the son of 13-year MLB veteran and 2005 World Series winner Jermaine Dye.

Titan Saxton | Freshman | Smithfield, UT

A Utah Class 4A first-team all-state honoree as both a junior and senior, Saxton helped lead the Bobcats to back-to-back state championships. Finished with 56 tackles and three interceptions as a prep senior.

Teeg Slone | Sophomore| Rocklin, CA

Teeg Slone recorded 39 tackles, two interceptions, and a forced fumble as a freshman at American River College last season. Before joining American River, Slone picked off four passes as a senior at Rocklin High School in California.

Teeg’s brother, Cian Slone, is a junior defensive end for the Aggies.

RELATED: Aggie Notes: Utah State Defensive Line Needs To Grow Up Fast

Javar Strong | Sophomore | Cherokee, AR

Listed at 6’3 and 195 pounds, Strong was named Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference honorable mention after collecting 58 tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery for Hutchison Community College in 2022.

Strong appeared in nine games for Arkansas State as a freshman during the 2020 season before transferring to Hutchison. Had 20 tackles in his lone season with the Red Wolves.

Kadiyon Sweat | Freshman | Lehi, UT

Much heralded after helping lead the Lehi Pioneers to back-to-back 5A State Championships, Kadiyon Sweat signed with Utah State as a three-star recruit and the No. 26 recruit in Utah, according to 247Sports.com. Was named the Utah Valley Player of the Year and the Utah Class 5A Region 8 MVP as a senior.

RELATED: Head Coach Blake Anderson Says Aggies Roster Turnaround Raises “Lots Of Questions”

Sweat finished his prep career with gaudy numbers. 217 tackles, 26 interceptions (four returned for TD), and 29 pass breakups on the defensive side. Sweat added 2,882 all-purpose yards and scored 11 total touchdowns with the Pioneers.

Following The Aggies With KSL Sports Zone

Utah State begins the 2023 campaign with a road test against the Big Ten’s Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa hosts the Aggies on Saturday, September 2 with a 10 a.m. (MT) season-opening kickoff. The Hawkeyes ended 2022 with a 21-0 shutout against Kentucky in the Music City Bowl to finish the season 8-5.

Every Utah State football game can be heard on the KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard and former Aggie quarterback Kevin White on the call.

KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics can be found here. 

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Aggie Notes: Local Talent, New Faces Expected To Lead Utah State Safeties In 2023