LOGAN-- Utah State junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton is among 30 college football players named to the first edition of the 2013 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List that was released Thursday.
The Heisman Trophy, presented annually since 1935, is the most prestigious award in sports. It is named after famed college football coach John W. Heisman. The 2013 winner will be announced in New York on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Keeton, who is one of 19 quarterbacks on the watch list, joins Fresno State senior quarterback Derek Carr, Nevada junior quarterback Cody Fajardo and San Jose State senior quarterback David Fales as players from the Mountain West to make the list.
“Chuckie has earned every right to be included in preseason campaigns, polls and watch lists for every award a quarterback can be,” USU head coach Matt Wells said. “He’s earned that right based on his play for the last two years. He’s earned it by his win-loss record as a quarterback, he’s earned it by his stats, his leadership — everything he does for our program inside the building and outside the building. He’s earned every right to be included in every category that anybody wants to talk about in the country.”
Keeton, a 6-2, 200 pound quarterback from Houston, Texas (Cypress Creek HS) earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors as a sophomore after ranking 17th nationally in total offense (307.1 ypg), 18th in passing efficiency (154.7) and 29th in passing (259.5 ypg).
During the 2012 season, Keeton set single-season school records for touchdown passes (27), passing yards (3,373), completions (275) and completion percentage (.676), while tying the single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 121 yards at Louisiana Tech.
Along with earning first-team all-league honors as a sophomore, Keeton was also named the WAC’s Offensive Player of the Week four times during the course of the season as he had at least two touchdown passes in 10 games and rushed for a touchdown in eight games, while throwing for at least 300 yards three times in the last five games of the season and five times overall.
In all, Keeton concluded his sophomore season completing 275-of-407 passes for 3,373 yards with 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also ran the ball 129 times for 619 yards (47.6 ypg) with eight touchdowns.
Utah State had its most successful season in school history in 2012 as it went 11-2 and set school records for wins (11) and home wins (6), while recording just its second bowl win in school history with a 41-15 victory against Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936 and just its third in school history joining the 1921 and 1936 teams that both won Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles.
Nationally, Utah State was one of just 19 teams to finish the 2012 season with 11 or more wins and USU was one of just four teams across the country who did not lose a league game joining Ohio State (8-0) from the Big Ten and Kent State (8-0) and Northern Illinois (8-0) from the Mid-American Conference.
Utah State ended the 2012 season nationally ranked for just the third time in school history as it finished the year ranked 16th in the Associated Press poll, 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll and 22nd in the Bowl Championship Series standings.
Utah State also finished the 2012 season winning its final seven games, which is tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the nation and tied for the third-longest winning streak in school history.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
The 2013 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List (post-spring edition)
(in alphabetical order)
Ameer Abdullah, Jr., RB, Nebraska
David Ash, Jr., QB, Texas
Blake Bell, Jr., QB, Oklahoma
Tajh Boyd, Sr., QB, Clemson
Teddy Bridgewater, Jr., QB, Louisville
Ka’deem Carey, Jr., RB, Arizona
Derek Carr, Sr., QB, Fresno State
Jadeveon Clowney, Jr., DE, South Carolina
Stefon Diggs, So., WR, Maryland
Cody Fajardo, Jr., QB, Nevada
David Fales, Sr., QB, San Jose State
Devin Gardner, Jr., QB, Michigan
Everett Golson, So., QB, Notre Dame
Todd Gurley, So., RB, Georgia
Kevin Hogan, So., QB, Stanford
Brett Hundley, So., QB, UCLA
Duke Johnson, So., RB, Miami
Chuckie Keeton, Jr., QB, Utah State
Marqise Lee, Jr., WR, USC
Jordan Lynch, Sr., QB, Northern Illinois
Johnny Manziel, So., QB, Texas A&M
Marcus Mariota, So., QB, Oregon
Venric Mark, Sr., RB, Northwestern
Taylor Martinez, Sr., QB, Nebraska
AJ McCarron, Sr., QB, Alabama
Aaron Murray, Sr., QB, Georgia
Braxton Miller, Jr., QB, Ohio State
Lache Seastrunk, Jr., RB, Baylor
De’Anthony Thomas, Jr., RB, Oregon
TJ Yeldon, So., RB, Alabama