For the second year in a row, Utah State football player Tyler Larsen has been named to the Dave Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List, given annually to the nation's most outstanding center in college football, as the 2012 Watch List was recently released.
Larsen, a Salt Lake City native (Jordan HS), is one of 21 returning players from the 2011 list. This is the second 2012 preseason accolade for Larsen, as he was also a first-team Phil Steele's College Football Preview Magazine's Preseason all-Western Athletic Conference selection.
The USU center enters his junior season with 25 consecutive starts at center. 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. Larsen made blocking calls and assignments in helping pave way for 2011 USU offense that established new school records for total offense (5,945 yards), rushing yards (3,675 yards), total points (437) and total TDs (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 the Auburn game, while adding 7.5 at Hawai’i and 6.5 at Idaho.
Larsen is one of three WAC centers on the list, joined by Idaho's Mike Marboe and Stephen Warner of Louisiana Tech. He is also one of two centers from the state of Utah, joining Utah's Tevita Stevens. Larsen is one of 13 juniors on the 50-player list, which also includes one graduate student, 31 seniors and five sophomores.
Larsen is USU's first two-time Rimington Trophy Watch List selection, and he is only the third Utah State player to be named to the Watch List, joining Brent DeLadurantey in 2005 and Ryan Tonnemacher in 2007.
The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A College Football. Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2 million for the cystic fibrosis community. The twelve-year old award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised nearly $100 million for CF Research.
Dave Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.
The winner will be honored at the Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb. on January 12, 2013. For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients, visitwww.rimingtontrophy.com
Utah State will return 50 letterwinners (21 offense, 23 defense, six special teams) from the Aggies' historic 2011 season where USU posted a 7-6 record, its first seven-win season since 1993, capping its season with its first bowl appearance since 1997 with a trip to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, losing to Ohio in a 24-23 thriller. Five of USU's losses were by one score or less, and 10 of the Aggies' games were decided by one score, which were the most in the nation.
For the first time since 1996, the Aggies will open a season with back-to-back home games, hosting a pair of in-state foes in Southern Utah on Thursday, Aug. 30 and Utah on Friday, Sept. 7. Both games are slated for 6 p.m. (MT) starts from Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. The Aggies' game against Utah will be on ESPN2. It will be the 110th meeting between USU and Utah, resuming the rivalry after a two-year hiatus. The Beehive State battle will be the Aggies' third time in the last four seasons with a home game on national television, after hosting Boise State in 2009, BYU in 2010 and Utah in 2012.
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.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.