Feb. 22, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State football held its end of season banquet Friday, honoring the 2012 team that won a school-record 11 games, recorded its first outright conference championship since 1936, posted its second-ever bowl victory, and ended the year nationally ranked for just the third time ever.
Along with handing out individual awards, a highlight video recapping the year was shown, as was a video honoring USU's senior class, which tied the 1962 senior class for the most wins in school history with 26. Utah State players and team personnel were also presented their Western Athletic Conference and Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Championship ring. The players were also given their 2012 home jerseys.
During the banquet, Utah State recognized 10 players who received its annual team awards as running back Kerwynn Williams was presented with the Aggies' Team MVP award, quarterback Chuckie Keeton was named the Offensive MVP, linebacker Kyler Fackrell was named the Defensive MVP and cornerback Terrence Alston was named the Special Team's MVP. Wide receiver Travis Reynolds was named the Most Improved Offensive Player and defensive tackle Jordan Nielsen was named the Most Improved Defensive Player.
Tight end Kellen Bartlett was named Comeback Player of the Year, while defensive tackler Connor Williams was honored with the Iron Aggie Award for strength and conditioning. Scout team Offensive MVP honors went to tight end Derek Keller, while linebacker Nick Vigil earned scout team Defensive MVP honors.
Utah State also recognized its 17 players that earned various all-Western Athletic Conference honors at season's end as Fackrell, Keeton, cornerback Will Davis, linebacker Jake Doughty, defensive tackle Al Lapuaho, offensive center Tyler Larsen, offensive tackle Eric Schultz and Kerwynn Williams all earned first-team honors, while Nielsen, wide receiver Matt Austin, safety McKade Brady, cornerback Nevin Lawson, offensive guard Jamie Markosian and linebacker Zach Vigil were all named to the second-team. USU also had three players earn honorable mention honors in Bartlett, wide receiver Chuck Jacobs and Connor Williams.
Davis and Kerwynn Williams were recognized again for earning All-America honors as Davis was named a third-team All-American by CBSSports.com, a fourth-team All-American by Phil Steele and an honorable mention All-American by SI.com, while Kerwynn Williams was named an honorable mention All-American by SI.com.
Another player that was recognized again was Fackrell who earned Freshman All-American honors from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), becoming the first player in USU history to be named an FWAA Freshman All-American.
Brady was another player honored for national recognition as became just the seventh football player in school history to be named an Academic All-American.
Along with honoring those players who excelled on the field, USU also recognized 18 players who earned academic all-conference honors in 2012, which were tied for the most in that sport in the WAC. Those players include: Austin, Brady, Bartlett, Doughty, Markosian, Nielsen, Reynolds, Schultz, tight end Keegan Andersen, punter Tyler Bennett, kicker Jaron Bentrude, linebacker Forrest Dabb, defensive tackle B.J. Larsen, long snapper Nate Needham, linebacker Michael Okonkwo, defensive tackle Travis Seefeldt, safety Brian Suite and tight end Brad Theurer.
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 recording just its second bowl win in school history with a 41-15 victory against Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. 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.
Nationally, Utah State was one of just 19 teams to finish the 2012 season with 11 or more wins and USU was one of just four teams across the country who did not lose a league game joining Ohio State (8-0) from the Big Ten and Kent State (8-0) and Northern Illinois (8-0) from the Mid-American Conference.
Utah State ended the 2012 season nationally ranked for just the third time in school history as it finished the year ranked 16th in the Associated Press poll, 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll and 22nd in the Bowl Championship Series standings.
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.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
Utah State Team Awards
Scout Offensive MVP - Derek Keller
Scout Defensive MVP - Nick Vigil
Most Improved Offensive Player - Travis Reynolds
Most Improved Defensive Player - Jordan Nielsen
Comeback Player of the Year - Kellen Bartlett
Iron Aggie - Connor Williams
Special Teams MVP - Terrence Alston
Defensive MVP - Kyler Fackrell
Offensive MVP - Chuckie Keeton
Team MVP - Kerwynn Williams
All-Western Athletic Conference Honors
First Team - Will Davis, Jake Doughty, Kyler Fackrell, Chuckie Keeton, Al Lapuaho, Tyler Larsen, Eric Schultz, Kerwynn Williams
Second Team - Matt Austin, McKade Brady, Nevin Lawson, Jamie Markosian, Jordan Nielsen, Zach Vigil
Honorable Mention - Kellen Bartlett, Chuck Jacobs, Connor Williams
Academic All-Western Athletic Conference
Keegan Andersen, Matt Austin, Kellen Bartlett, Tyler Bennett, Jaron Bentrude, McKade Brady, Forrest Dabb, Jake Doughty, B.J. Larsen, Jamie Markosian, Nate Needham, Jordan Nielsen, Michael Okonkwo, Travis Reynolds, Eric Schultz, Travis Seefeldt, Brian Suite, Brad Theurer
Third Team - Will Davis (CBSSports.com)
Fourth Team - Will Davis (Phil Steele)
Honorable Mention - Will Davis (SI.com), Kerwynn Williams (SI.com)
Freshman - Kyler Fackrell (Football Writers Association of America)
First Team - McKade Brady (Capital One)
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