LOGAN, Utah - Utah State senior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has been named to the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List, announced at the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce East Texas Kickoff Luncheon Wednesday.
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award recognizes the top offensive player in Division 1 football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell in integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community and tenacity; specifically tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals. In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four year college.
The Watch List announced today will be narrowed to up to 16 semifinalists in November and then up to 4 finalists in December. They will be selected by broadcasters, commentators, journalists, fans and the previous winner. The finalists will be brought to Tyler for The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Awards Banquet scheduled for January 14, 2015.
Keeton is one of eight quarterbacks on the list and one of six players representing the Mountain West. Additionally, he is just one of two players from the state of Utah to be recognized by the committee, joining BYU wide receiver Ross Apo.
Entering his senior season, Keeton, a 6-2, 200-pound quarterback from Houston, Texas (Cypress Creek HS), is also one of 25 college football players named to the first edition of the 2014 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List, one of 17 players named to the 2014 Bleacher Report's Initial Heisman Trophy Watch List, one of 39 players named to the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List, one of 77 players named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, one of 40 players named to the College Football Performance Awards Quarterback of the Year Watch List, the Preseason Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team preseason all-Mountain West selection by Athlon Sports, Phil Steele and College Sports Madness, who also named Keeton as their MW Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
Keeton was one of 30 players named to the first edition of the 2013 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List as a junior a year ago, but played in just six games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter against BYU on Oct. 4. Prior to his injury, Keeton had completed 136-of-196 passes for 1,388 yards (231.3 ypg) with 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions, while rushing for another 241 yards on 55 carries (402. ypg/4.4 ypc) with two more scores. Overall, that completion percentage of 69.4 percent broke his own single-season school record set in 2012, while his 18 touchdown passes rank tied for ninth all-time in school history.
Through his first five games of the 2013 season, Keeton ranked second in the nation with 17 touchdown passes, while also ranking first in the Mountain West (MW) and second in the nation in points responsible for (22.8 pg), second in the MW and 22nd in the nation in passing efficiency (161.6), third in the MW and eighth in the nation in completions (26.4), third in the MW and 11th in the nation in completion percentage (.710), third in the MW and 18th in the nation in total offense (317.2 ypg), and fourth in the MW and 25th in the nation in passing (272.4 ypg). Keeton also tied the school record with five touchdown passes in a game twice during his junior year, doing so in a 52-20 win at Air Force and again in a 70-6 home win against Weber State.
As a sophomore in 2012, Keeton earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors after ranking 17th nationally in total offense (307.1 ypg), 18th in passing efficiency (154.7) and 29th in passing (259.5 ypg). During the 2012 season, Keeton set single-season school records for touchdown passes (27), passing yards (3,373), completions (275), completion percentage (.676) and total offense (3,992 yards), while tying the single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 121 yards at Louisiana Tech.
Utah State will open the 2014 season on Sunday, Aug. 31 at Tennessee and plays its first home game the following weekend against Idaho State on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. USU's first Mountain West game will be at home against Air Force on Saturday, Oct. 11 and the Aggies conclude the regular season at MW foe Boise State on Saturday, Nov. 29. The Mountain West Championship game will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6 at the home stadium of the divisional champion with the highest College Football Playoff Committee ranking.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program on Twitter, @USUFootball, on Facebook at facebook.com/USUFootball or on Instagram, @usufootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at facebook.com/USUAthletics and on Instagram @USUAthletics.
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