For the second week in a row, Utah State redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell (Mesa, Ariz.) has been named the Defensive Player of the Week for the Western Athletic Conference; it was announced by the league office Monday, following his performance against San Jose State Saturday.
This is Fackrell's second career WAC Player of the Week honor, as well as Utah State's sixth recognition this season.
Fackrell is the first Aggie freshman to earn conference player of the week honors in consecutive weeks since Demario Brown was named the Big West Conference offensive player of the week in back-to-back weeks during the 1996 season. Fackrell is just the fourth freshman in school history to earn conference player of the week honors joining current teammate, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton, who was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week in 2011, along with Brown in 1996 and Profail Grier who was named the Big West's Offensive Player of the Week in 1993.
Fackrell is also the first player to earn back-to-back WAC honors since Hawaii's Corey Paredes was named the league's defensive player of the week two times in a row in 2010. Going back to 1999, no freshman in the WAC has earned back-to-back player of the week honors.
Fackrell was also named the American First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete of the Week for the period ending on Sunday, Oct. 14, in an award that is voted on by a state-wide media panel. It is the first time in his career that Fackrell has received USU Student-Athlete of the Week honors.
Fackrell had a career-high tying 11 tackles to go along with his first two career sacks in helping Utah State to a convincing 49-27 WAC road win at San Jose State this past weekend. Fackrell also forced and recovered a fumble during the same play on his second sack of the contest and had a pass breakup on third-and-goal from the USU 8, preventing a Spartan touchdown on the first drive of the game. Fackrell was one of nine Aggie defenders who helped record a school-record 13 sacks against the Spartans.
On the season, Fackrell is tied for fourth on the team and tied for 16th in the WAC with 6.7 tackles per game.
Utah State (5-2) continues WAC play this week as it hosts New Mexico State (1-5) on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised locally on KMYU. USU has won six-straight WAC games dating back to last season and has won each of its last two games against New Mexico State.
Nominees from other sports for USU Student-Athlete of the Week included:
MEN’S CROSS-COUNTRY – Junior Kyle McKenna (Farmington, Utah) was the top finisher for the Utah State men and the Western Athletic Conference with his 51st-place finish at the NCAA Pre-National meet in Louisville, Ky., last weekend. McKenna clocked in with a time of 24:03.9 in the 8K seeded men's race as he competed against 272 runners from 40 different Division I teams.
WOMEN’S CROSS-COUNTRY – Senior Alex Litzsinger (Pocatello, Idaho) led the Utah State women as the top finisher for the fourth-straight meet as she was also the top Western Athletic Conference runner with a third-place finish (21:15.4) at the NCAA Pre-National meet in Louisville, Ky., last weekend. Litzsinger led the USU women to a fourth-place team finish in the women's unseeded portion of the meet.
SOCCER – Sophomore forward Jade Tarver (Sandy, Utah) had five points on one goal and two assists in helping Utah State to a pair of road wins at Seattle (2-1 OT) and at Idaho (3-1) last weekend. Against the Redhawks, Tarver had the assist on freshman forward Maris Hamblin's game-winning goal in the 99th minute. Against the Vandals, she scored the game-winning goal in the first half and helped seal the win with an assist on sophomore defender Ambryn McCallson's first collegiate goal.
MEN’S TENNIS – Senior Sven Poslusny (Lorrach, Germany) advanced to the quarterfinals of the singles main draw of the Utah Intercollegiate Tournament in Salt Lake City this past weekend as he defeated BYU’s Travis Fillmore in three sets (6-1, 4-6, 6-2) and USU sophomore teammate Curran Wearmouth in straight sets (6-2, 6-3). Poslusny also advanced to the second round of the doubles draw with sophomore teammate Matt Sweet as the duo defeated Weber State’s Dylan Hansel and Georgi Kvernardes, 8-2.
WOMEN’S TENNIS – Senior Jaci West (La Quinta, Calif.) posted a 2-1 singles record at the ITA Mountain Regionals Championship tournament held this past weekend in Las Vegas, Nev., as she advanced to the third round defeating New Mexico’s Jodi Williams in straight sets (6-1, 6-2) and Air Force’s Mary Meyers in three sets (4-6, 6-4, 6-4). West also advanced to the quarterfinals of doubles play with sophomore teammate McKenzie Davis defeating Charlotta Hjarlmarson and Iva Parapunova of Montana State, 8-4, and Heather Davidson and Laurence Pelchant of Montana, 8-2.
VOLLEYBALL – Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) helped Utah State to a 1-1 record last week as it lost to Utah Valley (3-2) and defeated San Jose State (3-0). Against the Wolverines, Orr had 15 kills and hit .294 (15-5-34), while adding five blocks and two digs. Against the Spartans, she had 12 kills and two digs and hit a career-high .524 (12-1-21). For the week, Orr hit .382 (27-6-55) and averaged 3.38 kills per set and 0.60 blocks per set.
2012-13 Utah State Athlete of the Week Winners Aug. 27 - Josselyn White, Volleyball; Sept. 3 - Chuckie Keeton, Football; Sept. 10 - Chuckie Keeton, Football; Sept. 17 - Tanner Higham, Golf; Sept. 24 - Kerwynn Williams, Football; Oct. 1 - Josselyn White, Volleyball; Oct. 8 - Jennifer Flynn, Soccer; Oct. 15 - Kyler Fackrell, Football
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.