USU football: 2012 Aggie seniors have made many accomplishments throughout their seasons
When you look at the 2012 Utah State football team, you see a lot of things. You see success and motivation. You see a love of the game. You see record breakers and one of the winningest classes in Utah State history. You see the 2012 Western Athletic Conference champions.
For the first time since 1961, Utah State has won nine football games, and for the first time since then, the Aggies have claimed a spot in the Associated Press Top 25. One more win and this team will have accomplished something no other Aggie team has – a 10-win season.
This year's team is being led by a group of 18 seniors in CB Terrence Alston, WR Matt Austin, TE Kellen Bartlett, P Tyler Bennett, S McKade Brady, CB Quinton Byrd, LB Forrest Dabb, CB Will Davis, LB Bojay Filimoeatu, WR Chuck Jacobs, CB Isaiah Jones, QB Adam Kennedy, DE Al Lapuaho, NG Havea Lasike, OT Oscar Molina-Sanchez, CB Jumanne Robertson, WR Cameron Webb and RB Kerwynn Williams.
“First and foremost, they’ve done countless things that a senior class hasn’t done in a long time. If you put them all together they’ve probably done some things a senior class has never done at Utah State,” head coach Gary Andersen said. “They’re going to leave a legacy that’s going to be hard to follow.”
This group of seniors has changed the face of Utah State football. On the field and off, they have developed the program to be seen on a national level.
With both a regular season and bowl game remaining, the class of 2012 has won 24 games to rank as the third-winningest senior class in school history. And with two more games to play, this group could tie the school record for wins by a senior class.
Some of these seniors are among the last to have played under the previous coaching staff. Others came in as the transition began, completely buying into the vision and plan Andersen and his assistants had.
“I appreciate them because they believed in us, they believed in the system and the direction we were trying to head,” Andersen said. “There were some good days; there were some bad days, but they kept fighting. That’s how they did it.”
These student-athletes came to Logan in the days of three and four wins. Each of them have contributed in some way or another to feed and develop the program, getting it to where it is today.
“We’ve watched this program grow. We’ve watched each side of the line grow, the special teams, the little guys grow. Outside of football we’ve watched the fans grow,” Austin said.
Each of these players came in knowing what they were getting themselves into. However, they saw something in the program they knew they wanted to be a part of.
“I came in with the old coaching staff, but my goal from when I signed my National Letter of Intent was to help change this program,” Bartlett said. “I won a state championship in high school. We only lost one game in two years. I know what winning is about. It’s a belief. You can’t learn it. Everyone here has been a winner, whether it was in football or basketball or track or rugby. It’s phenomenal to actually see us take these steps and strides to get to this point.”
As they have worked through their collegiate careers, the Aggies have been through a lot. There have been tough, disappointing losses. There have been unexpected wins. There have been injuries that have ended players’ seasons and even careers. Through each trial, the team has been able to bounce back and become stronger because of it.
“We’ve just learned to battle through. We’ve been in tons of situations where it could have gone either way. I think we’ve proved that if you stick with it and battle through it, that’s when things can turn around,” Brady said. “We turned this program around by persevering through the hard times.”
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