NFL draft: Seattle Seahawks select Utah State star RB Robert Turbin
Turbin to join former teammate Wagner in Seattle; Buccaneers pick Michael Smith
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
LOGAN — Utah State football fans have a new favorite NFL team to root for.
Former Aggie running back Robert Turbin will join linebacker Bobby Wagner as the newest members of the Seattle Seahawks. Turbin was taken by Seattle with its fourth-round pick, the 106th selection overall.
"It felt good to get the call," Turbin said. "I'm excited to be drafted and excited to be a Seahawk.
"Bobby and I are great friends, so I'm excited to be his teammate again."
Last year the Seahawks finished 21st in the NFL in rushing yardage with just over 100 yards a game. Marshawn Lynch is the top option at running back for Seattle, leading the Seahawks with 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Behind Lynch, though, the Seahawks lacked a good second punch. Leon Washington finished second on the team with just 248 yards. With Lynch out of the lineup against the Bengals last season, the Seahawks scored three points and rushed for 65 yards in a three-point loss.
"Marshawn Lynch is a great football player. It will be great to watch and learn from him," said Turbin.
Turbin, last year's Western Athletic Conference offensive Player of the Year, finished with 1,517 rushing yards and 23 total touchdowns for the Aggies last year.
Despite piling up plenty of production for the Aggies, the Fremont, Calif., native slipped to the fourth round in the draft due to injury concerns. An ACL tear kept Turbin out of the Aggies' lineup two seasons ago and he missed time his freshman year with a foot injury.
Michael Smith, the lightning to Turbin's thunder at running back last season, was also drafted. Smith was taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with their seventh-round draft pick, No. 212 overall.
"It's a great opportunity," Smith said. "I'm glad to be a Buccaneer. I visited them earlier in the month and their new coaching staff said they loved me. I'm very excited."
Smith gave Utah State three total draft selections in this year's NFL Draft. It was the first time three Aggies had been picked in the same year since 1984 when Patrick Allen, Aaron Smith and Theo Windham all came off the board for Utah State. The Aggies had only had a total of three players drafted since 2004.
"It means a lot," Turbin said of having three draft picks from Utah State.
"It shows that Utah State is rising, as we should be. There will be more great players to come out of there in years to come."
Smith will join former Aggie offensive lineman Donald Penn on the Buccaneers. Penn went undrafted in 2006, but made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and is currently Tampa Bay's starting left tackle.
No Cougars picked in NFL draft
For the second consecutive year, and for just the third time since 1965, no BYU players were selected in the National Football League draft.
Left tackle Matt Reynolds was projected to be taken in the mid-to-late rounds, but, surprisingly, his name was not called when the 2012 draft concluded Saturday.
Defensive lineman Hebron "Loni" Fangupo, a USC transfer who played one season at BYU and was projected to go in the late rounds, also went undrafted. Both Reynolds and Fangupo participated in the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
Now Fangupo, and other former Cougars, will look to sign with an NFL team as undrafted free agents. Matt Reynolds signed as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers.
— Jeff Call
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