It appears one of the most explosive athletes in Cache Valley will stay home to play his college football.
Logan High junior Isaac Larsen, who was a big playmaker this past season offensively, defensively and on special teams, verbally committed to Utah State on Nov. 14. He is the first class of 2021 player to pledge his commitment to the Aggies.
“So, I’ve wanted to come to Utah State my whole life,” Larsen said in an interview with The Herald Journal prior to USU’s home game against Wyoming’s on Nov. 16. “Football is football, but the coaches here, the way they coach, they way they care about you (it means) everything. So, that’s one reason why I committed here ... and it’s my hometown, so yeah.”
Larsen caught the attention of USU’s coaching staff at a camp in June. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound defensive back/wide receiver was approached by Aggie cornerbacks coach Mark Orphey, and he received a scholarship offer from his hometown university shortly thereafter.
The son of JoAnn and Bret Larsen then proceeded to have a strong junior season for the Grizzlies. In 11 games, No. 6 caught 35 passes for 548 yards and six touchdowns, recorded 62 tackles (47 solo), intercepted seven passes, broke up seven more, forced a trio of fumbles and recovered two more. Larsen scored on offense, defense and on special teams and finished with 10 TDs during the 2019 campaign.
Larsen got off to a very good start this past season. In Logan’s first game, he had a 95-yard kickoff return to the house against Provo. One week later, No. 6 hauled in four receptions for 123 yards and a TD against Stansbury. In Week 3, he picked off three passes against Preston and returned one of them to paydirt.
“It gave me a lot of confidence,” Larsen said of his first three games. “I was going into the season just wanting to win. You know, it didn’t go that way, but I still had a good time. I know the team had a good time and we’re just going to get ready to play and grind next year.”
Larsen was a big weapon on special teams as he averaged 23.5 yards on 20 kickoff returns and 16.3 yards on eight punt returns. In addition to his aforementioned 95-yard kickoff return against Provo, he brought back a kickoff for a TD in the opening round of the playoffs against Ogden.
No. 6 finished second among all Region 11 players with his seven INTs. Larsen ranked second on the team with his three forced fumbles, and he returned one of those for a touchdown against Stansbury.
Additionally, Larsen utilized his explosive speed to blow up opposing wide receivers and dislodge them of the ball. Although he was grown quite a bit this year, Larsen has always been a bit undersized, so he plays with a chip on his shoulder.
“I play angry, honestly, so even though I’m kind of small, I can hit harder than what my weight (suggests),” he said.
Larsen’s improvement from a physicality standpoint is the biggest strides he felt he has made from his sophomore to junior seasons.
“Last year I didn’t like to hit as much, but I feel like the hitting came along and just made my game better,” he said.
Larsen burst onto the scene as a sophomore — he was at least four inches shorter then — as he made 42 tackles and picked off five passes as one of Logan’s starting cornerbacks. Larsen also blocked two field goals as a sophomore.
No. 6 retained his position as a starting corner this season, but was moved to safety. Larsen isn’t sure which position he enjoys or excels at the most.
“Honestly, I’m in a pickle right now,” he said. “I don’t know, but we’ll see; we’ll see how it goes. But I like both positions.”
Larsen is a three-sport athlete for the Grizzlies as he plays basketball and is also a very good hurdler, especially at 300 meters.
Two of Larsen’s primary objectives this offseason are to “get bigger and stronger, a little faster.” He can already run the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds.
“My plan ... is to get in the weight room every day and just grind,” said Larsen, who has also been recruited by Pac-12 Conference programs California and Oregon State, among other collegiate programs.
OTHER AGGIE NEWS
USU sophomore linebacker Noah Young announced Monday on Twitter that he has entered the transfer portal. No. 54 hasn’t played in any games for the Aggies this season.
“I would like to thank Utah State University and the coaches for the opportunity, however my family and I feel it is best that I find a new home,” Young posted on Twitter.
Young transferred to USU after one season at Southwestern Junior College in Chula Vista, California. The 6-0, 220-pounder earned first-team all-region honors during his lone season with the Jaguars after contributing with 55 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss, 1.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, one INT and a 24-yard blocked punt return for a TD.
Later that day, former USU verbal commit Nick Session tweeted out he is pledging his commitment to Oklahoma State.
The current East High senior safety committed to the Aggies in July, but received offers from Power 5 Conference programs Oregon State and Oklahoma State this fall. Session also had offers from FBS programs BYU and Hawaii.