Jan. 7, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell has been named to the 12th annual Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-America Team it was announced Monday.
Since the FWAA began naming a Freshman All-America team in 2001, Fackrell is the first Utah State player honored.
Fackrell is one of three Western Athletic Conference players named to the FWAA All-America Team joining Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon and San Jose State placekicker Austin Lopez. Fackrell is also the only player from the state of Utah to be recognized.
The FWAA All-America team consists of 30 players that was selected by an 11-person panel of nationally-prominent writers. Both true freshmen (14 players) and redshirt freshmen (16 players) were considered for the team.
During the 2012 season, Fackrell became just the fourth Utah State freshman in school history to earn first-team all-conference honors joining running back Paul Grier (1993), defensive end Nate Putnam (2000) and return specialist Kevin Robinson (2004). Fackrell also earned WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors twice during the 2012 season in back-to-back outings against BYU and San Jose State, marking the first time since 1996 that an Aggie freshman has earned WAC Player of the Week honors in consecutive weeks. Fackrell was also the first WAC freshman to earn the award in consecutive weeks going back to 1999.
Along with his WAC honors, Fackrell was also one of 32 freshmen nationally named to the College Football Performance Awards National Freshman Performer of the Year Watch List along with USU teammate and defensive tackle Jordan Nielsen. Fackrell was also named an honorable mention National Linebacker of the Week by College Football Performance Awards twice in 2012 following outings against San Jose State and UTSA.
Fackrell, a 6-5, 236-pounder from Mesa, Ariz. (Mesa HS) finished the 2012 season ranking fourth on the team with 87 tackles (28-solo, 59-assist). He also ranked second on the team with three interceptions, second with seven quarterback hurries, third with 8.0 tackles for loss and sixth with two sacks, to go along with three pass breakups, one blocked kick, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
Fackrell's 87 tackles in 2012 rank tied for third all-time at Utah State among freshmen along with Jake Hutton who had 87 tackles in 2005. The single-season school record for tackles by a freshman is 123 set by Del Lyles in 1988, while Terrance Washington registered 93 tackles as a redshirt freshman in 2003.
Utah State had its most successful season in school history in 2012 as it went 11-2 and set school records for wins (11) and home wins (6), while being nationally ranked in the Associated Press poll for three-straight weeks for the first time in school history. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936 and just its third in school history joining the 1921 and 1936 teams that both won Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles.
Utah State also finished the 2012 season winning its final seven games, which is tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the nation and tied for the third-longest winning streak in school history.
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2012 FWAA Freshman All-America Team Offense QB -- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 6-1, 200, Kerrville, Texas *RB -- Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech, 6-0, 215, Strong, Ark. *RB -- Todd Gurley, Georgia, 6-1, 218, Tarboro, N.C. *WR -- Amari Cooper, Alabama, 6-1, 198, Miami, Fla WR -- J.D. McKissic, Arkansas State, 5-10, 185, Phenix City, Ala. WR -- Davante Adams, Fresno State, 6-2, 200, Palo Alto, Calif. OL -- Tyler Johnstone, Oregon, 6-6; 292, Chandler, Ariz. OL -- Jake Brendel, UCLA, 6-4, 295, Plano, Texas OL -- Jack Allen, Michigan State, 6-1, 295, Hinsdale, Ill OL -- Austin Blythe, Iowa, 6-3, 275, Williamsburg, Iowa OL -- Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech, 6-5, 303, Rockdale, Texas OL -- Parker Ehinger, Cincinnati, 6-7, 290, Rockford, Mich. *TE -- Devin Funchess, Michigan, 6-5, 229, Farmington Hills, Mich.
Defense *DL -- Devonte Fields, TCU, 6-4, 240, Arlington, Texas *DL -- Leonard Williams, Southern Cal, 6-5, 270, Daytona Beach, Fla. DL -- Deion Barnes, Penn State, 6-4, 246, Philadelphia, Penn. DL -- Samuel Ukwuachu, Boise State, 6-4, 222, Pearland, Texas LB -- Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss, 5-11, 203, Loganville, Ga. LB -- Tyler Matakevich, Temple, 6-1. 220, Stratford, Conn. LB -- Kyler Fackrell, Utah State, 6-5, 236, Mesa, Ariz. LB -- Cory James, Colorado State, 6-0, 235, Del Rio, Texas *DB -- Ronald Darby, Florida State, 5-11, 189, Oxon Hill, Md. *DB -- KeiVarae Russell, Notre Dame, 5-11, 182, Everett, Wash. *DB -- Trevon Stewart, Houston, 5-9, 183, Patterson, La. DB -- Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee, 5-11, 220, Lithonia, Ga.
Special Teams *P -- Tyler Williams, Marshall, 6-0, 195, Fort Wayne, Ind. *K -- Austin Lopez, San Jose State, 6-0, 170, Euless, Texas PR -- Jaime Wilson, Western Michigan, 5-11, 196, Belle Glade, Fla. *KR -- Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.), 5-9, 188, Miami, Fla. *AP -- Stefon Diggs, Maryland, 6-1, 185, Gaithersburg, Md.
* -- True Freshman
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