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USU football: Chuckie Keeton and Kyler Fackrell named to College Football Performance Awards Watch Lists

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:19 p.m. MDT

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton and linebacker Kyler Fackrell have been named to the 2013 College Football Performance Awards Watch Lists at their respective positions, it was recently announced.

Keeton is one of 30 Football Bowl Subdivision players named to the Quarterbacks Watch List, while Fackrell is one of 41 players named to the Linebackers Watch List.

Keeton is one of five Mountain West quarterbacks recognized along with Derek Carr (Fresno State), Cody Fajardo (Nevada), David Fales (San Jose State) and Brett Smith (Wyoming), while Fackrell is one of six MW linebackers named to the Watch List along with Cory James (Colorado State), Art Laurel (Hawai’i), Dallas Bollema (New Mexico), Jake Fely (San Diego State) and Keith Smith (San Jose State).

Overall, Keeton is the only quarterback from the state of Utah recognized, while Fackrell is one of two in-state linebackers to make the Watch List along with Utah’s Brian Blechen.

Keeton is also one of 30 players named to the first edition of the 2013 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List along with being a Phil Steele preseason fourth-team all-MW selection, while Fackrell was named to Phil Steele’s preseason all-MW second-team.

Keeton, a 6-foot-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.

Fackrell, a 6-5, 245 pounder from Mesa, Ariz. (Mesa HS), earned first-team all-WAC honors and was the first Aggie in school history named a Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American a year ago as he finished the season ranking second on the team and eighth in the WAC with three interceptions (0.23 pg), third on the team and 13th in the WAC with 8.0 tackles for loss (0.62 pg), and fourth on the team and 13th in the WAC with 87 tackles (6.7 pg). Those 87 stops rank tied for third all-time at Utah State among freshmen. He also finished second on the team with seven quarterback hurries, to go along with 3.0 sacks and three pass breakups.

Utah State returns 49 lettermen and 18 starters from its most successful team in school history as USU ended the 2012 season with a school-best 11-2 record as it set school records for wins (11) and home wins (6), and recorded its second bowl win in school history with a 41-15 victory against Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936, as it went 6-0 in the Western Athletic Conference, and its third in school history.

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

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

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