USU football: eight players named to Athlon Sports 2014 Preseason all-Mountain West teams
Fackrell, a 6-5, 245-pounder from Mesa, Arizona (Mesa HS), was named an honorable mention Sophomore All-American by College Football News and earned second team all-Mountain West honors a year ago as he finished the season ranking first on the team with 13.0 tackles for loss, tied for first with two forced fumbles and second with his 5.0 sacks, while ranking fourth on the team with 82 total tackles (37-solo, 45-assist). Overall, he averaged 5.9 tackles per game to rank 35th in the Mountain West. During the season, he recorded three quarterback hurries, recovered one fumble, intercepted one pass and registered one pass breakup. He was named the Mountain West's Defensive Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards National Linebacker of the Week following USU's 47-10 home win against Hawai'i as he recorded nine tackles, including 0.5 for loss, to go along with an interception return of 99 yards for his first career defensive touchdown.
Fackrell is also a preseason first team all-Mountain West selection by Phil Steele heading into the 2014 season.
Larsen, a 6-5, 275-pounder from Logan, Utah (Logan HS), earned second team all-Mountain West honors as a junior as he finished the season ranking second on the team with 4.0 sacks and three quarterback hurries, to go along with 8.0 tackles for loss and 31 total tackles (14-solo, 17-assist). He was also named a College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Defensive Lineman of the Week following his performance against No. 24 Fresno State in the inaugural Mountain West Championship game as he had a career high 2.0 tackles for loss, to go along with 1.0 sack, as part of his five total tackles.
Larsen is also a preseason second team all-Mountain West selection by Phil Steele heading into the 2014 season.
Suite, a 6-3, 205-pounder from Honolulu, Hawaii (Punahou HS), earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors as a junior as he ranked fourth on the team with 77 total tackles (37-solo, 40-assist) and had six or more tackles in eight games. He finished the season ranking first on the team, fifth in the Mountain West and 41st in the nation with five total interceptions (0.36 ipg), tied for first on the team in fumbles recovered with two and tied for fourth on the team with six pass breakups.
Suite was also named to the SI.com and the CBS Sports.com All-Bowl Teams following Utah State's 21-14 win against No. 24 Northern Illinois in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl as he tied his season high with 11 tackles, to go along with a fumble recovery and interception.
Suite is also a preseason first team all-Mountain West selection by Phil Steele heading into the 2014 season.
Whimpey, a 6-5, 295-pounder from Highland, Utah (Lone Peak HS/Idaho State), started all 14 games at left tackle as a junior and finished the season with an overall performance grade of 83 percent. In all, he graded out at 88 percent in effort, including seven games over 90 percent, while also grading out at 87 percent in assignment, including six games over 90 percent, and 80 percent in technique, including seven games above 80 percent. He finished the season with 35.0 knockdowns, including a season high eight against BYU.
Whimpey is also a preseason first team all-Mountain West selection by Phil Steele heading into the 2014 season.
Natson, a 5-7, 151-pounder from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Boyd Anderson HS), earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors as a punt returner as a sophomore as he ranked fourth in the conference and 22nd in the nation with his punt return average of 11.3 yards. He returned 31 punts for 351 yards during the season. He also ranked first in the Mountain West and second in the nation with two punt returns for touchdown, and he was the only player in the country with multiple touchdowns rushing (3), receiving (2) and returning (2) in 2013. He was also named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week and the College Football Performance Awards National Punt Returner of the Week following USU's 45-10 win at New Mexico as he returned a career high five punts for a career best 102 yards, including his first career punt return for touchdown of 65 yards.
Natson is also a preseason second team all-Mountain West selection by Phil Steele heading into the 2014 season.
Hill, a 5-11, 190-pounder from Fullerton, California (Fullerton HS), started the first five games of the 2013 season before missing the remainder of the year with a knee injury. As a junior, he carried the ball 53 times for 252 yards (4.8 ypc) and scored his lone rushing touchdown of the year on a 1-yard run at Air Force. He also caught 13 passes for 94 yards (7.2 ypr) during the season with a 20-yard touchdown reception against the Falcons. He also had a career best 18 carries for 75 yards in USU’s season opener at Utah and had a career high seven receptions for 39 yards against the Utes.
Utah State returns 14 starters as part of 40 letterwinners from last year's 9-5 team that won the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference, played in the inaugural Mountain West Championship game and defeated No. 24 Northern Illinois, 21-14, in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
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Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.
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