USU football: 11 Aggies named to Phil Steele’s 2013 Preseason All-Mountain West team

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, May 28 2013 11:45 a.m. MDT

Williams, a 6-3, 278-pounder from Kanata, Ontario, Canada (Holy Trinity HS), earned honorable mention All-WAC honors a year ago after ranking first on the team, fifth in the conference and tied for 91st in the nation with 6.0 sacks (0.46 pg). He also ranked fourth on the team and 19th in the WAC with 7.0 tackles for loss (0.54 pg) and finished the year with 32 tackles (15-solo, 17-assists) to rank third on the team among defensive linemen.

Doughty, a 6-0, 230-pounder from Draper, Utah (Juan Diego HS), earned first-team All-WAC honors in 2012 after leading the team, ranking second in the conference and tied for 71st in the nation with 109 tackles (8.4 pg). He also recorded 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack during the season, to go along with four pass breakups and three quarterback hurries.

Vigil, a 6-2, 231-pounder from Clearfield, Utah (Clearfield HS), earned second-team All-WAC honors a year ago as he ranked second on the team, fifth in the conference and 84th in the nation with 105 tackles (8.1 pg). He also led the team and ranked tied for sixth in the WAC with 9.5 tackles for loss (0.73 pg), and second on the team and tied for seventh in the WAC with 5.5 sacks (0.42 pg). He was also third on the team with five quarterback hurries and added one pass breakup.

Diaz, a 5-8, 193-pounder from Redondo Beach, Calif., served as Utah State’s placekicker the final seven games of the 2012 season and made 10-of-13 (.769) field goals to rank eighth all-time at USU for a single season in percentage. He also made all 40 of his extra points to rank tied for first all-time in school history for a single season as his 40 extra points made ranks second all-time at USU for a single-season, while his 40 attempts ranks third.

Keeton, a 6-2, 200-pounder from Houston, Texas (Cypress Creek HS), earned first-team All-WAC honors in 2012 as he ranked third in the conference and 17th nationally in total offense (307.1 ypg), second in the WAC and 18th in the nation in passing efficiency (154.7), third in the WAC and 29th nationally in passing (259.5 ypg, and eighth in the conference in rushing (47.6 ypg). He finished the year completing 275-of-407 passes for 3,373 yards with 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions and rushed for 619 yards on 129 carries (4.8 ypc) with eight touchdowns. He finished his sophomore season by setting single-season school records for touchdown passes (27), passing yards (3,992), completions (275) and completion percentage (.676), while his 407 pass attempts rank seventh all-time at USU for a single season. He was also named the WAC’s Offensive Player of the Week four times during the season, becoming the first player in school history to accomplish that feat and the first WAC player to do so since 2010.

Nielsen, a 6-5, 260-pounder from Lewiston, Utah (Sky View HS), earned second-team All-WAC honors a year ago after ranking tied for third on the team and tied for ninth in the conference with 5.0 sacks (0.38 pg), and fifth on the team and 20th in the WAC with 6.5 tackles for loss (0.50). He finished the season tied for first on the team among defensive linemen with 35 tackles and led the team with two blocked kicks, while recording three quarterback hurries and one pass breakup on the year.

Utah State opens the 2013 season Thursday, Aug. 29, at Utah and plays its first Mountain West game the following weekend at Air Force on Saturday, Sept. 7. USU's first home game of the 2013 campaign is Saturday, Sept. 14, against Weber State, while its first home Mountain West game is Saturday, Oct. 12, against Boise State.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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