Four Football Players Receive Preseason Blue Ribbon All-Conference Honors
Thursday, Jul. 05, 2012
Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook released its annual preseason forecast for 2012. Bojay Filimoeatu, Tyler Larsen, Jumanne Robertson, Kerwynn Williams were named to the all-conference team. (photo from Athletics website))
Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook released its annual preseason forecast for 2012 and Utah State [University] is picked to finish second in the Western Athletic Conference, while four Aggies (Bojay Filimoeatu, Tyler Larsen, Jumanne Robertson, Kerwynn Williams) were named to the all-conference team.
The Blue Ribbon forecast has Utah State finishing second in the WAC in 2012 behind reigning conference champion Louisiana Tech. San Jose State is slated to finish third, followed by Idaho, New Mexico State, Texas State and UTSA. LTU participated in the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl, while USU played in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last December.
Senior Kerwynn Williams was selected as a first team running back and kick returner by the publication and was the only player listed at multiple positions. Williams is joined on the first team offense by junior center Tyler Larsen, while senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu and senior defensive back Jumanne Robertson were among the first team defensive selections.
Williams, a native of Las Vegas, Nev. (Valley HS), rushed for 542 yards on 81 carries in 2011, an average of 6.7 yards per carry, which ranks third on USU's single-season rushing average list, and also had three rushing touchdowns. Williams added seven receptions for 63 yards a year ago and also had 36 kick returns for 817 yards, for an average of 22.7 ypr, which ranked fifth in the WAC and 73rd in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). He added seven punt returns for 98 yards, for an average of 14.0 ypr, which would have ranked second in WAC, but did not meet the minimum requirement. Overall, Williams totaled 1,520 all-purpose yards in 2011, for an average of 121.5 ypg, ranking eighth in the WAC and 58th in FBS in all-purpose average.
A 2011 Hornung Award Watch List member, Williams enters his senior season with 10 different marks in the record books for not only USU, but the WAC and FBS as well, highlighted by holding the record for WAC career kick return yards, currently with 3,392 yards.
Larsen, a Salt Lake City native (Jordan HS), enters his junior season with 25 consecutive starts at center, and is a 2012 Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List member for the award honoring the top center in collegiate football. Last season, Larsen was a first-team all-WAC selection by not only the conference, but Phil Steele's College Football Magazine, BCS Busters and College Sports Madness as well. Larsen made all the blocking calls and assignments in helping pave way for a USU offense that established new school records for total offense (5,945 yards), rushing yards (3,675 yards), total points (437) and total touchdowns (60). USU led the WAC and ranked sixth in FBS in rushing offense (282.7 ypg), as well as ranking second in the WAC and 20th in FBS in total offense (457.3 ypg). Larsen had a season-high eight knockdowns in Auburn game while adding 7.5 at Hawai'i and 6.5 at Idaho.
Filimoeatu, who hails from of West Valley City, Utah (Granger HS/Mt. San Antonio College), played both linebacker and defensive end in 2011, but is expected to return to outside linebacker this season. He is USU's leading returning player in tackles for loss, ranking second on the team overall last year with 11.0, tying for 10th in the WAC. He totalled 41 tackles (20 solo, 21 assists) in 2011, and added three sacks, four quarterback hurries, one pass break-up, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. In the Aggies' 49-42 double-overtime win at Idaho last season, Filimoeatu posted a career-best seven tackles, while forcing and recovering a fumble on the same play.
Robertson, from Phoenix, Ariz. (Deer Valley HS/Phoenix CC), led the USU defense with 12 pass break-ups last season and was third among defensive backs, as well as third among returning defenders and fifth overall in total tackles with 48 stops. The 12 pass break-ups were tied for fourth-most in the WAC while his 0.92 passed defended per game ranked tied for seventh in the league and tied for 55th in FBS. Robertson posted a career-high eight tackles in the Nevada game while adding five in the Fresno State game and made four stops in five other games.
Blue Ribbon selected Louisiana Tech senior wide receiver Quinton Patton as the WAC's preseason offensive player of the year, with San Jose State senior defensive lineman Travis Johnson being named preseason defensive player of the year, and San Jose State running back De'Leon Eskridge as the league's preseason newcomer of the year.
Utah State opens the 2012 season with back-to-back home games, hosting a pair of in-state rivals in Southern Utah Thursday, Aug. 30, and Utah Friday, Sept. 7. Both games are slated for 6 p.m. (MT) starts from Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium.
Utah State football season ticket renewals and new sales for the 2012 season are available. Renewals are available online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu. Fans interested in new sales should contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
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Additional Aggie sports news is available at the Athletics website.