Eight Aggie Football Players Named To Phil Steele's Preseason All-WAC Team
June 2, 2008
LOGAN, Utah - Eight Utah State football players were recognized by Phil Steele's College Football Preview preseason all-Western Athletic Conference team, announced by the publication Monday.
Phil Steele's College Football Preview is one of the nation's most informative preseason football magazines and hits newsstands June 10th or is available now at www.philsteele.com. Phil Steele's College Football Previews have always provided a preseason All-American team as well as preseason all-conference teams.
Utah State's list of preseason all-WAC honorees consists of four defensive players and two offensive players. Senior linebacker Jake Hutton was tabbed to the first-team list, while junior linebacker Paul Igboeli and junior safety James Brindley were selected to the second-team. Senior tight end Rob Myers and senior defensive tackle Ben Calderwood were on the third-team while senior offensive center Ryan Tonnemacher was named to the fourth-team along with the senior brother tandem of cornerback Josh Taylor and safety Caleb Taylor.
Hutton, a native of Pocatello, Idaho (Pocatello HS), earned second-team all-WAC honors last year after he led USU and ranked eighth in the WAC as well as tied for 71st in the NCAA with 102 tackles, including 58 solo stops. The 58 solo tackles ranked tied for fifth in the league. His 58 solo tackles were also the most for an Aggie since Jesse Busta had 64 in 2002. Hutton registered a USU single-game season-best 16 stops at New Mexico State.
Igboeli (pronounced Ig-bo-lee), a Grand Prairie, Texas (South Grand Prairie HS) native, was second on the team and 13th in the WAC with 95 tackles, including 51 solo stops, which ranked among the top 15 in league. He was tied for second on the team with eight tackles for loss and also tallied three pass break-ups and one fumble recovery. Igboeli posted two of USU's top five tackle outings on the year with 15 at New Mexico State and 12 at Fresno State.
A native of Grass Valley, Calif. (Nevada Union HS), Brindley was third on team with 84 tackles including 1.5 tackles for loss. He shared the team lead with three interceptions with Roy Hurst, but led the Aggies with 96 interception return yards, a total that ranked fourth in the WAC. He registered double-digit tackle outings in five of USU's last seven games of year including season-best 15 stops at Idaho. Brindley also ranked tied for fourth in the WAC with two fumble recoveries.
Myers, a native of Houston, Texas (Bellaire HS), led the nation's tight ends in yards per catch average with 15.2 ypc after catching 21 passes for 320 yards on the season. He tallied three touchdowns on the season including two at New Mexico State as part of his career-best 117 yards on four catches with a career-long 37-yard reception and was named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week on Nov. 21, 2007 for his performance.
Calderwood, a local product from Smithfield, Utah (Sky View HS), tied for the lead among USU defensive linemen and ranked tied for eighth on the team with 41 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 on sacks, as well as one fumble recovery. Calderwood also made a season-best 10 stops against Nevada.
Tonnemacher (pronounced Tawn-uh-mawker), who is from Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton HS), had 759 offensive plays, which tied him with offensive guard Shawn Murphy and offensive tackle Derek Hoke for the most on the offense and were the fourth-most on the team. Tonnemacher enters his senior season with a team-leading 24 consecutive starts after starting all 12 games in both 2006 and 2007.
This is the second preseason honor for Tonnemacher, who was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List, honoring the nation's most outstanding center in college football, last month.
Natives of Corona, Calif. (Santiago HS), the Taylors had a combined 123 tackles, with Caleb logging 81 stops to rank fourth on the team while Josh was seventh with 42 tackles. Caleb led USU with 8.5 tackles for loss and also led the team with seven pass break-ups, one more than Josh, who was second on the squad with six. Caleb also had two interceptions and one fumble recovery while Josh added an interception. Posting three double-digit tackle games on the year, Caleb had a career-best 11 stops against Nevada.
Hutton, Igboeli and Tonnemacher started all 12 games last season, three of eight Aggies to do so.
Utah State returns 17 starters (six offense, nine defense and two special teams) among 39 lettermen. The Aggies open the 2008 season on Aug. 30 at UNLV. USU's home opener is Sept. 13 against in-state rival Utah.
Aggie football tickets are available in person through the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on "tickets" in left column, or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.