Cooper Legas joins McCae Hillstead in entering transfer portal | Sports

LOGAN — Where once Utah State had four quarterbacks with Division I starting experience, the Aggies are down to just two after Cooper Legas chose to enter the transfer portal Wednesday. He joins soon-to-be-former teammate McCae Hillstead who announced his portal entry a day before the official April 16 opening of the spring window.

Legas spent five seasons in Logan, redshirting in 2019 and not appearing in any games in 2020. He made his career debut in 2021 against New Mexico, but later in the LA Bowl against Oregon State he famously threw a 62-yard touchdown to Deven Thompkins on his first career pass attempt. He went on to complete 11 of 20 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the eventual Aggie victory that capped the program’s third 11-win season in its history.

Over the next two seasons, Legas’ time on the field was inconsistent, due to both injuries and being benched in favor of his backups. In 2022 he took over for Logan Bonner mid-season, making his first career start against BYU, but would miss most of the team’s matchups with Colorado State, Wyoming and Memphis due to different injuries.

The 2023 season would prove even more chaotic for Legas and the QB position in general for the Aggies. Legas was in and out of the starting spot all year, beginning the season as the unquestioned starter only to be benched in USU’s loss to Air Force as head coach Blake Anderson decided to hand the reigns of the offense to Hillstead. Except that Legas and Hillstead would trade that starting job multiple times throughout the rest of the year as Hillstead was injured and Legas started a pair of games — where he threw for 300-plus yards on both occasions — only for Hillstead to start again once he got back from injury BUT Hillstead underperformed and Legas was once again reinstated as the starting QB (until he was injured and Levi Williams had to finish the year as the signal-caller).

Legas completed 62.6 percent of his passes as an Aggie, tallying 3,485 yards, 32 touchdowns and 19 interceptions along with 411 rushing yards and a pair of rushing TDs.

With Hillstead and Legas now on their way out, Utah State is left with a quarterback room consisting of Iowa transfer Spencer Petras (who is now the likely Week 1 starter), Utah transfer Bryson Barnes and Zeke Payne.

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