Utah State all-conference nose guard AJ Pataiali’i signed a free agent contract with the Baltimore Ravens, it was announced Saturday.
Pataiali’i becomes the fifth Utah State football player from the 2013 Mountain West Conference Mountain Division and San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl championship team to move on to the NFL as safety Maurice Alexander was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the fourth round (110th pick) and cornerback Nevin Lawson was also drafted in the fourth round (133rd pick) by the Detroit Lions, while center Tyler Larsen signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins and tight end D.J. Tialavea signed a free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Pataiali’i, a 6-foot-3, 307-pounder from West Valley City, Utah (Hunter High School/Snow College), earned second-team all-Mountain West honors and was named third-team all-Mountain West by College Sports Madness and Phil Steele following his senior season as he finished the year 10th on the team and first among defensive linemen with 42 total tackles (7 solo, 35 assist), which included 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack.
During his senior season, Pataiali’i recorded a career-high seven tackles against Wyoming and added five tackles against Colorado State and BYU. His lone sack during the year was at No. 24 Fresno State in the inaugural Mountain West Championship game.
For his career, Pataiali’i played in 27 games for Utah State with 16 starts and recorded 66 total tackles (13 solo, 53 assist), which included 6.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. He also forced one fumble and had one pass deflection as an Aggie.
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Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.