Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Utah State Aggies linebacker Zach Vigil (53) sacks Weber State Wildcats quarterback Austin Chipoletti (16) during NCAA football in Logan Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013.
Utah State football players Kyler Fackrell and Zach Vigil are two of the 40 Football Bowl Subdivision linebackers on the College Football Performance Awards Linebacker of the Year Trophy Watch List.
The Aggie duo are two of the six players from the Mountain West on the 40-player list, joined by Cory James of Colorado State, Ejiro Ederaine from Fresno State, Jake Fely from San Diego State and Christian Tago from San José State. Fackrell and Vigil are two of the three players from Utah, along with BYU's Alani Fua.
Vigil, a 6-foot-2, 232-pound senior from Clearfield, Utah (Clearfield HS), earned second-team all-Mountain West honors a year ago as he ranked second on the team, seventh in the conference and 42nd in the nation with 8.9 tackles per game. Overall, he finished the year with 124 total tackles (47-solo, 77-assist), which was tied for the 17th most in the nation at the FBS level. His 47 solo tackles led the team, while he tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He also ranked second on the team with 12.5 tackles for loss and tied for fifth overall with 2.0 sacks, while adding one interception, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.
Vigil is also a preseason first-team all-Mountain West selection by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports heading into the 2014 season.
Fackrell, a 6-5, 245-pound junior from Mesa, Arizona (Mesa HS), was named a 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. He also ranked 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, which ranks as the third-longest interception return in Utah State and Mountain West history.
Fackrell is also a preseason first-team all-Mountain West selection by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports heading into the 2014 season.
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, 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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