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Devonta’e Henry-Cole

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Quarterback Jason Shelley will indeed be joined in Cache Valley by one of his close friends.

Fellow University of Utah transfer Devonta’e Henry-Cole will play for Utah State’s football program in 2020, should there be a season. The addition of the running back was officially announced by the Aggies on Wednesday.

Henry-Cole, a graduate transfer, has one year of eligibility remaining. He entered the transfer portal in January and signed with BYU a month later, but was recently released from his National Letter of Intent with the Cougars.

A few different reports of Henry-Cole’s intention to transfer to Utah State surfaced last Monday. Henry-Cole will be reunited with Shelley, who was added to USU’s roster a couple of weeks ago. Shelley has two years of eligibility remaining.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound tailback spent four years in Salt Lake City as he redshirted in 2018 after suffering an arm injury during the preseason. Henry-Cole played in 25 games at Utah, started one and rushed for 469 yards and four touchdowns on 90 attempts (5.2 yards per carry).

Henry-Cole was the Utes’ No. 2 tailback behind all-time leading rusher Zack Moss as a sophomore in 2017. No. 7 made his lone start against Oregon that season and ended up ranking third on the team in rushing — second among running backs — with 279 yards and a pair of TDs on 55 carries. He rushed for 79 yards against Colorado, and found paydirt against San Jose State and Arizona State.

The former high school track star was Utah’s fifth-leading rusher — fourth among tailbacks — this past season as he gained 188 yards and scored twice on 34 attempts. Henry-Cole enjoyed his best performance against Washington State as he carried the pigskin 15 times for 79 yards and also hauled in a 11-yard TD reception. No. 7 burned UCLA with a 27-yard scoring scamper during the 2019 campaign.

The 3-star recruit out of St. Thomas Aquinas (Florida) High School was also offered scholarships from Wake Forest and Pittsburgh, in addition to fellow Power 5 Conference program Utah. He played in just three games as a senior before suffering a season-ending wrist injury. Henry-Cole rushed for 173 yards and one TD as a prep senior, and 400 yards and five scores as a junior.

Henry-Cole will give the Aggies a second running back with significant experience at the FBS level, along with senior Jaylen Warren — USU’s second-leading rusher in 2019. The Aggies’ other two tailbacks on scholarship are true freshmen John Gentry and Elelyon Noa.

Shelley and Henry-Cole are the fourth and fifth Utah players to transfer to USU since long-time Ute assistant Gary Andersen took over the Aggie helm in December of 2018. Wide receiver Siaosi Mariner and tight end Caleb Repp excelled for the Aggies last fall, as did defensive end and fellow graduate transfer Nick Heninger. Heninger is entering his final year of eligibility and is expected to play a big role in his new role as an edge-rushing linebacker for the Aggies this upcoming season.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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