Utah State junior center Tyler Larsen was tabbed to the 2012 Dave Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List for the second-straight year it was announced by the Rimington Trophy committee Tuesday. The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A College Football.
Larsen is one of three Western Athletic Conference centers on the list, joined by Idaho's Mike Marboe and Stephen Warner of Louisiana Tech. He is also one of two centers from the state of Utah, joining Utah's Tevita Stevens. Larsen is one of 13 juniors on the 51-player list, which also includes three graduate students, 27 seniors and eight sophomores.
Larsen is Utah State's first two-time Rimington Trophy Watch List selection, and he is only the third USU player to be named to the Watch List, joining Brent DeLadurantey in 2005 and Ryan Tonnemacher in 2007.
A native of Salt Lake City (Jordan HS), Larsen enters his junior season with 25 consecutive starts at center, while also being placed to Phil Steele's College Football Preview Magazine's Preseason all-WAC first-team. In 2011, Larsen was a first-team all-conference selection by not only the WAC, but by Phil Steele's College Football Magazine, the BCS Busters and College Sports Madness. Larsen made all the blocking calls and assignments in helping clear the way for the 2011 USU offense that established school records for total offense (5,945 yards), rushing yards (3,675), total points (437) and total touchdowns (60). USU led the WAC and ranked sixth in FBS in rushing offense (282.7 ypg), along with ranking second in the WAC and 20th in FBS in total offense (457.3 ypg).
As a sophomore in 2011, Larsen led the offensive linemen with an 89 percent overall performance grade, including 80 percent in technique and 88 percent in effort. He also carried out the right assignment 98 percent of the time, including five games where he graded out at a perfect 100 percent. Overall, Larsen graded out above 90 percent six times in total performance, five times in effort and two times in technique, as well as all 13 games in assignment. He finished the season with 65.5 knockdowns including a season-high eight at defending national champion Auburn.
The winner of the 2012 Dave Rimington Trophy will be honored at the Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb., on January 12, 2013.
Utah State will return 50 letterwinners (21 offense, 23 defense, six special teams) from the Aggies' historic 2011 season in which USU posted a 7-6 record -- its first seven-win season since 1993, capping its season with its first bowl appearance since 1997 with a trip to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Five of USU's losses were by one score or less, and 10 of the Aggies' games were decided by one score, which were the most in the nation.
For the first time since 1996, the Aggies will open a season with back-to-back home games, hosting a pair of in-state foes in Southern Utah on Thursday, Aug. 30 and Utah on Friday, Sept. 7. Both games are slated for 6 p.m. (MT) starts from Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. The Aggies' game against Utah will be on ESPN2. It will be the 110th meeting between USU and Utah, resuming the rivalry after a two-year hiatus. The Beehive State battle will be the Aggies' third time in the last four seasons with a home game on national television, after hosting Boise State in 2009, BYU in 2010 and Utah in 2012.
Utah State football season ticket renewals and new sales for the 2012 season are available. Renewals are available online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu. Fans interested in new sales should contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
About the Rimington Trophy The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A College Football. Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2 million for the cystic fibrosis community. The twelve-year old award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised nearly $100 million for CF Research.
Dave Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.
For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients, visit www.rimingtontrophy.com.
About the NCFAA The Rimington Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game's predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association's official website, www.NCFAA.org.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.