Lawson, Larsen, Keeton making postseason noise
Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 23:01
Utah State football players have been receiving national accolades in the past week.
Corner Nevin Lawson played in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday. Lawson had three tackles in the game, a tackle for a loss, a pass defended and he recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. The touchdown was the last points of the game, good for a 23-13 final score for Lawson and the East. Lawson’s three tackles were third most on the East squad.
Lawson earned postseason third team All-American by College Sports Madness and first team Mountain West honors.
In light of his performance in the East-West Shrine Game, Lawson was invited to play in the 2014 Senior Bowl on Saturday. He will join Tyler Larsen in the game. USU has now had a player in four out of the last five Senior Bowls. Will Davis represented the Aggies in 2013 and got an interception, Bobby Wagner went in 2011 and won the North’s most valuable player, and Curtis Marsh played in the bowl in 2010.
Larsen was named second team All-American by USA Today earlier this month. Larsen was just the 12th player named to either first or second team All-American in program history. Larsen had a stellar season as he was one of the six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, which honors the best center in college football for a season. Nfldraftscout.com ranked Larsen as the No. 4 center prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Larsen also finished his career with a school record 52-game starting streak. It was third most among active players nationally. Larsen and Lawson were part of the winningest senior class in school history; they collectively had 31 team wins. The Senior Bowl is the most-attended postseason bowl by NFL scouts, making Larsen’s and Lawson’s performance pivotal for their draft status.
USU quarterback Chuckie Keeton was also named to Bleacher Report’s preseason Heisman watch list this week. Keeton is the only player from the Mountain West on the list that consists of 17 athletes, and he is one of nine quarterbacks. Keeton will go into his senior campaign fifth in active players for completion percentage and seventh in touchdowns accounted for.
Keeton went down for the season with a knee injury against BYU on Oct. 4, but is expected to be back for the beginning of the 2014 season. Keeton was averaging 231.3 passing yards per game and 40.2 rushing yards per game along with 20 total touchdowns before his injury. The only other player from a non-power conference to make the watch list is BYU’s Taysom Hill. Before Keeton was injured, he was second in the nation in touchdown passes and points accounted for. Keeton also tied a school record for touchdown passes in a game with five twice in the 2013 season.