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Mo Uasike started getting football recruiters' attention as a rising junior at All-Poly Camp, where the Texas lineman stood out on both sides of the ball. After a rousing performance there, the calls and mail started to come.
With an exception: Utah State had been keeping tabs on the 2014 prospect since he was a sophomore.
Being in the hunt early paid off for the Aggies on Thursday, as Uasike (Wah-see-kay), a 290-pound, 6-foot-2 prospect out of L.D. Bell High (Hurst, Texas) committed to the program. A close bond with the coaching staff helped the powerful defensive lineman make his decision, coach Mark Smith said.
"It's a great school and great place, but it's clear to me that he's chosen Utah State because of the people," he said. "They really made him feel comfortable there. He can get a great education and opportunities in football. Both of the Wells brothers, Matt and Luke, have done a great job recruiting him."
Uasike will start for the third straight year for the Blue Raiders this fall. He's a big and powerful run-stopper and can get into the backfield by mowing blockers down.
Rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com, Uasike was the defensive sophomore of the year in his district in 2011, and then earned all-district first team as a junior. At All-Poly Camp this season, Utah State coaches spent a while talking to him.
Uasike holds offers from Boise State, Utah, Tulsa and Houston.
The Wells brothers were also familiar figures at L.D. Bell's campus in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, a fertile recruiting ground that the program is emphasizing.
"A lot of coaches come through our school, but [Matt and Luke Wells] are at the top of the list," Smith said. "They know all the players. Those guys are special. They know how to recruit and relate to young people."
Uasike is the third verbal commitment of the 2014 class for Utah State, which so far includes linebacker Chase Christiansen and lineman Demytrick Ali'ifua.
Uasike was not immediately available for comment.
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon