May 10, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen has been invited to the Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins rookie mini-camps it was announced Saturday.
Van Leeuwen becomes the 10th Utah State football player from the 2013 Mountain West Conference Mountain Division and San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl championship team to move on to the NFL as safety Maurice Alexander was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the fourth round (110th pick) and cornerback Nevin Lawson was also drafted in the fourth round (133rd pick) by the Detroit Lions. Players who signed free agent contracts include center Tyler Larsen (Miami Dolphins), tight end D.J. Tialavea (Jacksonville Jaguars), nose guard AJ Pataiali'i (Baltimore Ravens), linebacker Jake Doughty (Green Bay Packers), cornerback Tay Glover-Wright (Atlanta Falcons) and running back Joey DeMartino (Kansas City Chiefs), while offensive tackle Eric Schultz was invited to the Seattle Seahawks mini-camp.
Van Leeuwen, a 6-3, 195-pounder from Provo, Utah (Timpview HS) played in all 14 games and made 11 starts during his senior season and finished the year ranking second on the team in both receptions (52) and receiving yards (661), while tying for third on the team with three receiving touchdowns. Overall, Van Leeuwen averaged 12.7 yards per reception and 47.2 receiving yards per game as a senior and had two 100-yard receiving games with five receptions for 107 yards at Utah and four receptions for a career-high 112 yards at UNLV. Van Leeuwen also had a career-high six receptions three times during his senior season in games against Air Force, Wyoming and No. 24 Fresno State in the inaugural Mountain West Championship game.
For his career, Van Leeuwen played in 50 games making 21 starts and caught 95 passes for 1,189 yards (12.5 ypr) with six touchdowns and ranks 24th all-time in school history in receiving yards.
In all, Van Leeuwen was part of the winningest class in school history with 31 victories.
Utah State concluded the 2013 season with a 21-14 win against 24th-ranked Northern Illinois in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl to finish the year with a 9-5 record and tie the 1960 and 1961 teams for the second-most wins in school history. With its win against Northern Illinois, Utah State posted back-to-back bowl wins for the first time in school history as it played in its third-straight bowl game, also a first at USU.
Utah State, who finished the 2013 season by winning six of its final seven games, also set the school record for conference wins as it posted a 7-1 league mark in its first season in the Mountain West to win the Mountain Division of the conference and advance to the inaugural Mountain West Championship game.
Utah State ended the year ranking tied for 37th nationally in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls with two votes each, marking the second time in as many years that USU has concluded the season ranked among the top teams in the nation as the 2012 team was ranked 16th in the final AP poll, 17th in the final coaches' poll and 22nd in the final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings.
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