Utah State junior Kyler Fackrell was named to the 2014 Butkus Award Watch List, it was announced Monday by the National College Football Awards Association. The Butkus Award is given annually to the best linebacker in the nation.
Fackrell is one of three Mountain West linebackers named to the Butkus Award Watch List along with Colorado State’s Aaron Davis and Wyoming’s Sunny Puetasi.
In all, Fackrell is one of 51 Football Bowl Subdivision linebackers named to the Butkus Award Watch List.
Entering his junior season, Fackrell is also one of 40 college football players named to the College Football Performance Awards Linebacker of the Year Trophy Watch List, one of 76 players named to the Bednarik Award Watch List, one of 81 players named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List and a first-team preseason all-Mountain West selection by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele.
Fackrell, a 6-foot-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 ranked first on the team with 13.0 tackles for loss, tied for first with two forced fumbles, second with his 5.0 sacks and fourth 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 also 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.
As a redshirt freshman in 2012, Fackrell earned first-team all-WAC honors and was named Utah State’s first-ever Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American as he finished the year 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), which ranks third all-time in school history among freshmen.
The Aggies open the 2014 season on Sunday, Aug. 31, at Tennessee and play their first home game the following weekend against Idaho State on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.