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USU football: eight Aggies named to College Sports Madness Preseason All-Mountain West Teams

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, July 25 2014 7:12 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, July 25 2014 7:12 p.m. MDT

Utah State's Chuckie Keeton speaks speaks with the media at the Mountain West Conference NCAA college football media day Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Chase Stevens, AP

College Sports Madness announced its preseason all-Mountain West Teams, highlighted by Utah State senior quarterback Chuckie Keeton being named Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and head coach Matt Wells as Preseason Coach of the Year.

In addition to being named Offensive Player of the Year, Keeton joins junior linebacker Kyler Fackrell, senior linebacker Zach Vigil and senior offensive lineman Kevin Whimpey on the all-conference first-team. Senior defensive lineman B.J. Larsen, senior safety Brian Suite and junior punt returner JoJo Natson were named to the second-team.

Entering his senior season, Keeton, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound quarterback from Houston, Texas (Cypress Creek HS), is also the Mountain West Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, one of 25 college football players named to the first edition of the 2014 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List, one of 17 players named to the 2014 Bleacher Report's Initial Heisman Trophy Watch List, one of 39 players named to the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List, one of 77 players named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, one of 40 players named to the College Football Performance Awards Quarterback of the Year Watch List and a first-team preseason all-Mountain West selection by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele.

Keeton was one of 30 players named to the first edition of the 2013 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List as a junior a year ago, but he played in just six games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter against BYU on Oct. 4. Prior to his injury, Keeton completed 136-of-196 passes for 1,388 yards (231.3 ypg) with 18 touchdowns and two interceptions, while he rushed for another 241 yards on 55 carries (402. ypg/4.4 ypc) with two more scores.

Through his first five games of the 2013 season, Keeton ranked second in the nation with 17 touchdown passes, while he also ranked first in the Mountain West and second in the nation in points responsible for (22.8 pg), second in the MW and 22nd in the nation in passing efficiency (161.6), third in the MW and eighth in the nation in completions (26.4), third in the MW and 11th in the nation in completion percentage (.710), third in the MW and 18th in the nation in total offense (317.2 ypg), and fourth in the MW and 25th in the nation in passing (272.4 ypg). Keeton also tied the school record with five touchdown passes in a game twice during his junior year, doing so in a 52-20 win at Air Force and again in a 70-6 home win against Weber State.

As a sophomore in 2012, Keeton earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors after ranking 17th nationally in total offense (307.1 ypg), 18th in passing efficiency (154.7) and 29th in passing (259.5 ypg). During the 2012 season, Keeton set single-season school records for touchdown passes (27), passing yards (3,373), completions (275), completion percentage (.676) and total offense (3,992 yards), while he tied the single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 121 yards at Louisiana Tech.

Fackrell, a 6-5, 245-pound junior 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 and second with his 5.0 sacks, while he ranked fourth on the team with 82 total tackles (37-solo, 45-assist). 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.

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