The top 10 players returning to the Utah State Aggies for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Shaq Bond, S
2. Troy Lefeged Jr., S
3. Kevin Meitzenheimer, LB
4. Justus Te'i, DE
5. Karter Shaw, G
6. Alfred Edwards, T
7. Andre Grayson, CB
8. Jaylen Warren, RB
9. Demytrick Ali'ifua, C
10. Deven Thompkins, WR
Bond and Lefeged form a dynamic duo on the back end of the Aggies defense. Lefeged actually led the team in total tackles last season while he was solid in coverage as well. Bond is a ballhawk in coverage and chipped in with 79 total tackles as well. They both do nearly everything extremely well and should anchor a defense that is now without David Woodward, one of the nation's best linebackers over the past few years.
Speaking of Woodward, his departure opens the lane even more so for the spotlight on Meitzenheimer, who logged over a whopping 1,000 snaps last season on defense (Lefeged actually logged an even 1,000 snaps). Meitzenheimer chipped in with two sacks as well as a solid 75 solo tackles as he led the team in tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage.
Te'i is a solid pass-rusher, even if the basic stat sheet doesn't show it. He may not have recorded a sack for the box-score pundits, but he certainly did disrupt the opposing passing attack a ton.
Grayson had a pick and four more pass breakups as he may have allowed a heavy completion percentage, he routinely didn't allow catches to go very far.
On offense, this team will be led by a new name at quarterback but he'll have the services of the reliable Shaw, Edwards and Ali'ifua on his offensive line. Shaw's the unit's mauler while Ali'ifua dominated in pass protection in the interior.
At the skill positions, Thompkins will fill the void left by Siaosi Mariner as he still hauled in 40 receptions for 536 yards including 237 after the catch last year with Mariner in the fold. Warren averaged more yards per carry and broke nearly as many tackles on far fewer attempts than Gerold Bright did a year ago and is the heir to the throne. Be on the lookout for well over 1,000 yards if he stays healthy this year.