June 9, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook tabbed four Utah State players with preseason all-Western Athletic Conference honors, while picking the Aggies at the number seven spot in the publication's preseason poll. The magazine hits newsstands in early July.
Junior running back Robert Turbin, junior linebacker Bobby Wagner and senior punter Peter Caldwell were on the publication's preseason all-WAC list, while junior wide receiver Matt Austin was dubbed the Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
Additionally, the publication picked the Aggies to finish seventh in the preseason poll, picking defending champion Boise State to repeat. BSU was followed by Nevada in second, then Fresno State, Louisiana Tech and Hawai'i at third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Idaho was tabbed sixth, followed by USU in seventh, New Mexico State in eighth and San Jose State ninth.
Wagner, a native of Ontario, Calif. (Colony HS), is a returning first-team all-WAC honoree, USU's lone first-team selection last season. Last season, Wagner led the WAC with 115 tackles (53 solo, 62 assists), for a 9.6 tackles per game average. In WAC only games, he also topped the league with 71 total stops (35 solo, 36 assists) for an 8.9 pg average. He also ranked tied for 22nd in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Wagner added seven tackles for loss, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass break-up. The 115 tackles ranks as the second-most by a USU sophomore, as Johndale Carty holds the top spot with 138 stops as a sophomore in 1996. Wagner was the first sophomore to lead USU in tackles since David Gill's 89 stops led the 1994 Aggies. The 115 stops is the most by an Aggie defender since Robert Watts tallied 118 tackles in 2003. Wagner now has 166 tackles for his career, needing 155 to crack into USU's career top 10 tackles list.
Turbin, a Fremont, Calif. (Irvington HS) native, ranked third in the WAC and 20th in FBS in rushing with 108.0 ypg, as well as third in the league and 31st in the nation in all-purpose yards with 142.8 ypg, leading the conference's running backs in receiving yards with 34.8 ypg. Last season, Turbin scored a WAC-high 18 TD's, finishing with a school-record 110 points, the most for an offensive player in the WAC and the second-most overall. Turbin's 1,296 rushing yards in 2009 made him the 14th Aggie running back with 1,000 rushing yards in a season and the first 1,000-yard rusher since Aggie legendary running back Emmett White in 2001. The 1,296 yards broke the USU single-season rushing record for a sophomore, passing the previous record of 1,135 yards by Rick Parros in 1977, and ended the season at the No. 8 spot on USU's single-season rushing list.
Turbin also became the 20th player in Utah State history to reach the 1,000 career rushing yards milestone and the first since 2000-03 and enters the 2010 season ranked No. 11 on USU's career rushing list with 1,798 yards, needing 22 more to crack the top 10. He also became USU's single-season record holder for touchdowns scored and total points last season with 18 (13 rushing, five receiving) and 110 points, respectively.
Austin is a native of Monrovia, Calif. (Charter Oak HS), who came to USU from Mt. San Antonio Junior College, but redshirted last season after injuring his foot in the preseason. At Mt. SAC, Austin was a first-team Southern California Football Association all-Central Conference selection, as well as earning first-team all-California Community College Football Coaches Association honors for Region III. As a sophomore, he had 71 receptions for 1,134 yards with 13 TD's in leading Mt. SAC to state runner-up finish. Austin was named second-team all-Mission Conference as a freshman in 2007 after leading the Mounties with 65 receptions for 985 yards and nine TD's.
Caldwell, a native of Kaysville, Utah (Davis HS), led the WAC and ranked 37th in FBS in punting with a 42.2 yards per punt average with 69 punts for 2,914 yards. A semi-finalist for the Ray Guy Award, honoring the top punter in college football, Caldwell had 17 punts of 50+ yards, highlighted by a season and career long 62-yarder. He tallied 27 punts inside the 20-yard line and forced the opposition's returner to call for a fair catch on 16 punts.
Blue Ribbon ships the first week of July and can be ordered at www.blueribbonyearbookonline.com or 1-877-807-4857 Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern.
Utah State will return 45 letterwinners (21 offense, 22 defense, two special teams), including 19 starters (eight offense, nine defense, two special teams), from last season's 4-8 mark, the Aggies' most wins since 2002. Utah State was 3-5 in WAC action, matching the 2008 season for top conference record in USU's five years in the league. The Aggies were tied for fifth in the final league standings, USU's highest-ever finish in its time in the conference and the best league finish since tying for fourth in the Sun Belt Conference in 2004.
USU's season-opener at Oklahoma on Saturday, Sept. 4 is tentatively slated for a 5 p.m. (MT) start, while the Aggies' home-opener is Saturday, Sept. 11 vs. border-foe Idaho State at 6 p.m. (MT).
Utah State football season ticket renewal applications have been mailed out. Fans can also renew online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu.
For more ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) or (435) 797-0305.
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
BLUE RIBBON FORECAST 1. Boise State 2. Nevada 3. Fresno State 4. Louisiana Tech 5. Hawaii 6. Idaho 7. Utah State 8. New Mexico State 9 San Jose State
ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM OFFENSE Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Cl. WR Austin Pettis Boise State 6-3 197 Sr. WR Greg Salas Hawaii 6-2 200 Sr. OL Andrew Jackson Fresno State 6-5 295 Sr. OL Kenny Wiggins Fresno State 6-7 310 Sr. OL Robert McGill Louisiana Tech 6-6 310 Sr. OL Nate Potter Boise State 6-6 297 Jr. OL John Bender Nevada 6-8 325 Sr. QB Kellen Moore Boise State 6-0 186 Jr. RB Vai Taua Nevada 5-10 220 Sr. RB Robert Turbin Utah State 5-10 215 Jr. TE Virgil Green Nevada 6-5 240 Sr.
DEFENSE Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Cl. DL Ryan Winterswyk Boise State 6-4 267 Sr. DL Chris Carter Fresno State 6-2 230 Sr. DL Dontay Moch Nevada 6-1 245 Sr. DL Ben Jacobs Fresno State 6-3 225 Sr. LB Adrien Cole Louisiana Tech 5-11 240 Jr. LB James-Michael Johnson Nevada 6-2 240 Jr. LB Bobby Wagner Utah State 6-1 230 Jr. DB Shiloh Keo Idaho 5-11 216 Sr. DB Davon House N.M. State 6-0 190 Sr. DB Jeron Johnson Boise State 5-11 195 Sr. DB Mana Silva Hawaii 6-1 220 Sr.
SPECIALISTS Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Cl. K Kevin Goessling Fresno State 6-0 195 So. KR Titus Young Boise State 5-11 168 Sr. P Peter Caldwell Utah State 6-4 228 Sr. PR Devon Wylie Fresno State 5-9 170 Sr.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Dontay Moch, DL, Nevada
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR Matt Austin, WR, Utah State
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