Utah State linebackers Kyler Fackrell and Zach Vigil were named to the 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, it was announced Monday by the National College Football Awards Association.
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage.
The Aggie duo are two of the 11 players from the Mountain West on the 123-player list, joined by Brett Boyko (OT) of UNLV, Ben Clarke (C) of Hawai’i, Tyeler Davison (DT) of Fresno State, Ejiro Ederaine (LB) of Fresno State, Brock Hekking (DE) of Nevada, Cameron Jefferson (G) of UNLV, Ty Sambrailo (OT) of Colorado State, Cody Wichmann (OG) of Fresno State and Eddie Yarbrough (DE) of Wyoming.
Fackrell, a 6-foot-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, 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 at in school history among freshmen.
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, one of 51 players named to the Butkus Award Watch List and a first-team preseason all-Mountain West selection by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele.
Vigil, a 6-2, 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. 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. In all, his 47 solo tackles led the team, while he was also 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 was tied for fifth overall with 2.0 sacks, while he added one interception, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.
As a sophomore in 2012, Vigil earned second-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors as he ranked second on the team, fifth in the conference and 84th in the nation with 105 tackles (8.1 pg). He also led the team and ranked tied for sixth in the WAC with 9.5 tackles for loss (0.73 pg), as well as second on the team and tied for seventh in the WAC with 5.5 sacks (0.42 pg).
Vigil is also one of 40 college football players named to the College Football Performance Awards Linebacker of the Year Trophy Watch List and a preseason first-team all-Mountain West selection by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports heading into the 2014 season.
The 45th Rotary Lombardi Award will be held Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston, Texas.
Utah State opens its 2014 season on Sunday, Aug. 31, at Tennessee and plays its 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.