In a couple of days, the Aggies will find out what bowl game they will be competing in.

Utah State’s football program didn’t have to wait until this weekend to receive some good news, though. That’s because a highly decorated high school senior running back has verbally committed to the Aggies.

Helix (California) High School tailback Elelyon Noa made his announcement Thursday morning live on KUSI, an independent TV station based in San Diego. Noa is his school’s career rushing record-holder with an eye-popping 5,830 yards.

“Well, I just wanted to thank all of the colleges for showing me the love,” Noa said on KUSI. “It was a great recruiting process, but the next four years I will continue me education and my athletic career against my brother at Utah State. Go Aggies, baby.”

Noa’s older younger, Ekeziel Noa, is currently a redshirt sophomore linebacker at Mountain West nemesis Boise State. No. 7 was a big contributor for the Broncos before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Air Force on Sept. 20. In BSU’s first four games, Ekeziel Noa racked up 28 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, and 1.0 sacks.

It has also been a challenging 2019 campaign health wise for Elelyon Noa, who dominated the competition for the first six games before missing the rest of the season after undergoing ankle surgery. The 3-star recruit amassed 1,085 yards on the ground and scored 13 total touchdowns before hurting his ankle — an injury he initially didn’t think was serious.

“I thought I was going to be ready by the next day, but no,” Noa said. “... Things happen for a reason.”

Noa nearly accumulated 300 yards on the ground in two games as a senior and found paydirt four times in one of them. No. 34 rushed for 116 yards and a pair of TDs on 21 carries in Helix’s impressive 45-27 victory over California powerhouse program Cathedral.

In addition to tearing it up on the ground, Noa caught nine passes for 165 yards and two TDs, and completed his only passing attempt for 34 yards during the aforementioned six games this fall. Noa only fumbled once this season.

Noa was coming off a monster junior season in which he rushed for 2,326 yards and 25 TDs for the Highlanders. The native of La Mesa, California, gained 1,782 yards as a sophomore and 637 yards as a freshman. He averaged 9.1 yards per carry and scored 55 rushing TDs during his time at Helix, which is where former Utah State and current Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jalen Davis played his high school ball.

Early this season, Noa shattered Helix’s all-time rushing record, which was held by former USC and NFL great Reggie Bush. Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, recently sent out a video, aired on KUSI, congratulating Noa for his accomplishment.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder had several other scholarship offers, including from Mountain West teams Boise State, San Diego State, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico. Noa also held an offer from Power 5 Conference program Iowa State.

Why did Noa ultimately choose Utah State?

“(My decision) was basically decided on Tuesday,” said Noa, who was offered by the Aggies back in May and made his official visit to USU last month. “The (USU) coaches came to my house actually to try and get the final word out of me. And when I went to my official visit up in Utah, man just the environment and the family vibe that I got felt very welcoming.”

GALEAI, EBERLE IN BOWL GAMES

USU senior defensive end Tipa Galeai has accepted an invitation to compete in the upcoming NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which will take place on Jan. 18 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. This is an all-star game for NFL draft-eligible players.

During his two seasons at USU, Galeai has recorded 22 tackles for loss, 15.0 sacks and 112 tackles. The TCU transfer is a two-time second-team all-Mountain West selection.

Fellow Aggie senior Dominik Eberle will showcase his talents in another all-star game on the same day, the East-West Shrine Bowl, which will take place in St. Petersburg, Florida. Eberle is a three-time all-Mountain West honoree, including appearances on the first team in 2017 and 2019.

Additionally, No. 62 is the Utah State and Mountain West record-holder in field goals (62) and points (348).

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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