July 2, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State football players Kyler Fackrell and Zach Vigil are two of the 40 Football Bowl Subdivision linebackers on the College Football Performance Awards Linebacker of the Year Trophy Watch List.
The Aggie duo are two of the six players from the Mountain West on the 40-player list, joined by Cory James of Colorado State, Ejiro Ederaine from Fresno State, Jake Fely from San Diego State and Christian Tago from San José State. Fackrell and Vigil are two of the three players from the state of Utah, along with BYU's Alani Fua.
Vigil, a 6-2, 232-pound senior from Clearfield, Utah (Clearfield HS) earned second-team all-Mountain West honors a year ago as he ranked second on the team, seventh in the conference and 42nd in the nation with 8.9 tackles per game. Overall, he finished the year with 124 total tackles (47-solo, 77-assist), which was tied for the 17th-most in the nation at the FBS level. In all, his 47 solo tackles led the team, while he was also tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He also ranked second on the team with 12.5 tackles for loss and was tied for fifth overall with 2.0 sacks, while adding one interception, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.
Vigil is also a preseason first-team all-Mountain West selection by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports heading into the 2014 season.
Fackrell, a 6-5, 245-pound junior from Mesa, Ariz. (Mesa HS) was named a honorable mention Sophomore All-American by College Football News and earned second-team all-Mountain West honors a year ago as he finished the season ranking first on the team with 13.0 tackles for loss, tied for first with two forced fumbles and second with his 5.0 sacks, while ranking fourth on the team with 82 total tackles (37-solo, 45-assist). Overall, he averaged 5.9 tackles per game to rank 35th in the Mountain West. During the season, he recorded three quarterback hurries, recovered one fumble, intercepted one pass and registered one pass breakup. He was named the Mountain West's Defensive Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards National Linebacker of the Week following USU's 47-10 home win against Hawai'i as he recorded nine tackles, including 0.5 for loss, to go along with an interception return of 99 yards for his first career defensive touchdown, which ranks as the third-longest interception return in Utah State and Mountain West history.
Fackrell is also a preseason first-team all-Mountain West selection by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports heading into the 2014 season.
Utah State returns 14 starters (O-6, D-5, S-3) as part of 40 letterwinners (O-18, D-19, S-3) from last year's 9-5 team that won the Mountain Division of the Mountain West, played in the inaugural Mountain West Championship game and defeated No. 24 Northern Illinois, 21-14, in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
Utah State concluded the 2013 season by winning six of its final seven games to 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 also set the school record for conference wins as it posted a 7-1 league mark in its first season in the Mountain West.
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.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program on twitter @USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at @USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on twitter @USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on instagram at @USUAthletics.
About College Football Performance Awards:
The goal of College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.
As prominent scholars from a wide variety of disciplines note, CFPA eliminates the politics and biases that vitiate balloting-based awards. Furthermore, CFPA has received praise from both Republican and Democratic White House officials for promoting objectivity and fairness in college football.
CFPA is now in its seventh season of player and team performance recognition. Twenty-eight CFPA winners have been first-round NFL Draft selections.
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