Last week, we started into the Mountain division teams with Colorado State, checking to see how they did on the recruiting front. They quietly signed a great class. Maybe it was quiet because I was so intent on paying attention to Boise State? Yeah, that's probably it. Anyway, this week, we are going to look in to one of the team that beat us this season: Utah State. They didn't just beat us, they pummeled us. That isn't to say we didn't play our part in that massacre, but it was definitely a stars-have-aligned game for the Aggies. They ended up losing 4 of their next 6 games after beating the Broncos, eventually finishing the season 6-7 after losing to the Akron Zips in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
The same can be said for the Broncos in that we went 9-4, but we also completely dismantled our bowl opponent 55-7 and allowed 33 TOTAL yards. And that bowl opponent, NIU, has been a perennial G5 contender for the past few years. But let's get back to the business of seeing how Utah State did for the 2016 class.
Rivals lists only one of their commits, Tre Miller, as a 3-star. The remaining are 2-star or not ranked. On Scout, 7 of their 26 recruits are ranked as 3-star and the remaining are 2s. So who are the top 3? Let's see.
Tre Miller, RB, St. George, UT (Dixie) 6'0" 215lbs
Tre's most notable offer comes from Vanderbilt, and while they haven't been good for a while, they are still a part of the SEC, which means something to many players. He also had offers from Navy, Air Force, Ohio, BYU and Bucknell. He had a solid senior season with Dixie, rushing 225 times for 1,602 yard (7.1 ypc) and 18 TDs. He tacked on another 13 receptions for 111 yards as well.Tre is pretty fast for his size. If he gets into the open field, it is unlikely he will be caught. It seemed like he had a pretty solid OL as he nearly always run up the middle in his tape (below). Regardless, he'll be one to watch in the coming seasons.
Kevin Meitzenheimer, LB, Moreno Valley, CA (Moreno Valley) 6'1" 220lbs
Kevin's most notable offer came from Washington. He also had offers from BSU, CSU, New Mexico, NMSU, UTEP, and UNLV, so he had a respectable list of suitors. He finished his senior year with an insane 167 total tackles, 133 solo, 3 TFL and 4 sacks. That's just under 14 tackles per game. CRAZY. Kevin is just a play maker. He's great at seeing what is happening and making quick decisions to limit yardage. He's athletic, fast, and plays with intensity. He'll be a bear to deal with potentially this year.
Bryce Mortenson, TE, Smithfield, UT (Skyview) 6'6" 210lbs
Bryce was listed as both a TE and WR as I imagine he was more of a WR in HS. I imagine he will be a TE at the next level, but you never know. His most notable offer outside of USU was Nevada. His other offer was from Cornell, so he's smart. He finished his senior season at Skyview with 81 receptions for 1,272 yards and 18 TDs. Stellar numbers for a WR at any level. His 40 time, according to his hudl, is 4.76, which is fairly slow for a WR, but on the faster side for TE, which is why I think he puts on some weight and goes that route. Bryce was a man among boys at Skyview. He was physically well beyond what many of his opponents were, towering above them on the field. His size will serve him well at the next level too, but he may not have such an easy time. Opponents would do well to cover him regardless.
It seems to me that the USU class went under the radar a bit. If these 3 players are an indication of the rest of the class, they did very well. Next week, we'll take a look at the last MW team that beat us: New Mexico. GO BRONCOS!