Utah State wide receiver/holder DJ Nelson was named the Mortell Award Holder of the Week, it was announced Wednesday by the organization.
In last Saturday night’s 60-13 drubbing over New Mexico State, the 5-foot-9, 200-pound Nelson was a perfect 12-for-12 on holds – six field goals and six extra-point tries. Nelson helped Utah State junior placekicker Dominik Eberle tie the NCAA record for most points scored by a kicker in a game with 24. Eberle also became just the sixth player in NCAA history to boot three field goals of 50 yards or more in a single game.
The 2017 Lou Groza Award finalist also set a school and Mountain West record with his six made field goals, while his six field goal attempts tied his own school record that was set last season.
In all, Eberle made field goals from 44, 32, 51, 21, 51 and 51 yards, as those six made field goals are tied for the third-most in a single game in NCAA history.
On the season, Nelson is a perfect 17-for-17 on holds, which has led to Eberle making all seven of his field goal attempts and all 10 of his extra-point tries.
The Mortell Holder of the Year Award is presented annually to the nation’s top holder. The committee selects the winner using several main criteria, including quality of cadence, fluidity of hands (catch to hold), position of laces and post-hold celebrations. In addition, all successful fake field goal attempts will be considered.Comment on this story
The HOTY Foundation is a nonprofit organization that selects the Mortell Award winner, who has the opportunity to raise money for a charity of his choice. To date, previous winners Peter Mortell (Minnesota, 2015), Garrett Moores (Michigan, 2016) and Connor McGinnis (Oklahoma, 2017) have raised more than $35,000 for the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, the VA in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Fields and Futures program in Oklahoma.
Utah State will play the second of its season-long three-game homestand on Thursday, Sept. 13, when it welcomes first-time opponent Tennessee Tech (0-2) to the friendly confines of Maverik Stadium. The game, slated to begin at 6 p.m., will air exclusively on Facebook, one of five Aggie contests that will appear on the platform this season.