Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
USU's Kyler Fackrell, celebrates an interception with a coach on the sideline as BYU and Utah State play Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 at Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo Utah. BYU won 6-3.

Utah State redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell has been named to the 12th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team, it was announced Monday.

Since the FWAA began naming a Freshman All-America team in 2001, Fackrell is the first Utah State player honored.

Fackrell is one of three Western Athletic Conference players named to the FWAA All-America Team joining Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon and San Jose State placekicker Austin Lopez. Fackrell is also the only player from the state of Utah to be recognized.

The FWAA All-America team consists of 30 players that was selected by an 11-person panel of nationally-prominent writers. Both true freshmen (14 players) and redshirt freshmen (16 players) were considered for the team.

During the 2012 season, Fackrell became just the fourth Utah State freshman in school history to earn first-team all-conference honors joining running back Paul Grier (1993), defensive end Nate Putnam (2000) and return specialist Kevin Robinson (2004). Fackrell also earned WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors twice during the 2012 season in back-to-back outings against BYU and San Jose State, marking the first time since 1996 that an Aggie freshman has earned WAC Player of the Week honors in consecutive weeks. Fackrell was also the first WAC freshman to earn the award in consecutive weeks going back to 1999.

Along with his WAC honors, Fackrell was also one of 32 freshmen nationally named to the College Football Performance Awards National Freshman Performer of the Year Watch List along with USU teammate and defensive tackle Jordan Nielsen. Fackrell was also named an honorable mention National Linebacker of the Week by College Football Performance Awards twice in 2012 following outings against San Jose State and UTSA.

Fackrell, a 6-foot-5, 236-pounder from Mesa, Ariz. (Mesa HS), finished the 2012 season ranking fourth on the team with 87 tackles (28-solo, 59-assist). He also ranked second on the team with three interceptions, second with seven quarterback hurries, third with 8.0 tackles for loss and sixth with two sacks, to go along with three pass breakups, one blocked kick, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.

Fackrell’s 87 tackles in 2012 rank tied for third all-time at Utah State among freshmen.

2012 FWAA Freshman All-America Team


QB — Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 6-1, 200, Kerrville, Texas

*RB — Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech, 6-0, 215, Strong, Ark.

*RB — Todd Gurley, Georgia, 6-1, 218, Tarboro, N.C.

*WR — Amari Cooper, Alabama, 6-1, 198, Miami, Fla

WR — J.D. McKissic, Arkansas State, 5-10, 185, Phenix City, Ala.

WR — Davante Adams, Fresno State, 6-2, 200, Palo Alto, Calif.

OL — Tyler Johnstone, Oregon, 6-6; 292, Chandler, Ariz.

OL — Jake Brendel, UCLA, 6-4, 295, Plano, Texas

OL — Jack Allen, Michigan State, 6-1, 295, Hinsdale, Ill

OL — Austin Blythe, Iowa, 6-3, 275, Williamsburg, Iowa

OL — Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech, 6-5, 303, Rockdale, Texas

OL — Parker Ehinger, Cincinnati, 6-7, 290, Rockford, Mich.

*TE — Devin Funchess, Michigan, 6-5, 229, Farmington Hills, Mich.


*DL — Devonte Fields, TCU, 6-4, 240, Arlington, Texas

*DL — Leonard Williams, Southern Cal, 6-5, 270, Daytona Beach, Fla.

DL — Deion Barnes, Penn State, 6-4, 246, Philadelphia, Penn.

DL — Samuel Ukwuachu, Boise State, 6-4, 222, Pearland, Texas

LB — Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss, 5-11, 203, Loganville, Ga.

LB — Tyler Matakevich, Temple, 6-1. 220, Stratford, Conn.

LB — Kyler Fackrell, Utah State, 6-5, 236, Mesa, Ariz.

LB — Cory James, Colorado State, 6-0, 235, Del Rio, Texas

*DB — Ronald Darby, Florida State, 5-11, 189, Oxon Hill, Md.

*DB — KeiVarae Russell, Notre Dame, 5-11, 182, Everett, Wash.

*DB — Trevon Stewart, Houston, 5-9, 183, Patterson, La.

DB — Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee, 5-11, 220, Lithonia, Ga.

Special Teams

*P — Tyler Williams, Marshall, 6-0, 195, Fort Wayne, Ind.

*K — Austin Lopez, San Jose State, 6-0, 170, Euless, Texas

PR — Jaime Wilson, Western Michigan, 5-11, 196, Belle Glade, Fla.

*KR — Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.), 5-9, 188, Miami, Fla.

*AP — Stefon Diggs, Maryland, 6-1, 185, Gaithersburg, Md.

* — True Freshman

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.